I. Bunin’s poem “The Epiphany Night”
(perception, interpretation, evaluation)
IA Bunin is a poet from God. His work combines tradition and innovation. Using the best achievements of poets – classicists, novelists, he at the beginning of the twentieth century creates his own, unique, poetry. Bunin’s prose is as lyrical as his poems.
A great place in the work of Bunin the poet is occupied by landscape lyric poetry. Favorite time of day is night. At night, nature stops, it seems magical, mysterious. The poet has a lot of lyrical poems that convey exactly the night impressions.
The poem “Epiphany Night” is filled with vivid epithets, metaphors-personifications. With the help of expressive means Bunin manages to draw a frozen picture of a winter frosty night. The nature in his depiction is lively, the poet often uses avatars to emphasize this: The
tree snows, like fur, Gray frosts have
away, In frosty frosts, just like in diamonds,
Birch trees have bent, bending.
Fixed their branches,
And between them on the snowy bosom,
Exactly through the silver lace,
Full month looks from the horizon.
The forest fairy tale froze, frozen, comparisons emphasize the beauty and airiness of this night landscape. A month, as a living being, as a deity, watching this frozen picture.
Verbs with the meaning of the action here are the units: “rustling”, “running around”, “running away”, they mostly emphasize not the dynamics, but static: “lulled”, “fell asleep”, “sleep”:
Sleep mysteriously slender thickets
Sleep deep in snow,
And glades, and meadow, and ravines,
Where once the streams rustled.
Tranquility, the dream enveloped the forest, is emphasized by another repetition:
Silence – even a branch does not crunch.
However, the mood changes further, the lyrical hero embraces fear, the approach of danger:
And, perhaps, behind
A wolf walks through the snowdrifts With a
cautious and insinuating step.
And there is an antithesis: “Silence – and maybe he is close.”
Disturbing images and dreams do not leave the lyrical hero, repeats emphasize this:
Everything seems to me something alive,
Everything seems to run through the animals.
Silence is alarming, because this is not an ordinary night, but a baptismal one. Miracles are possible on such a night. The frozen picture of the night for Bunin seems to be alive, and the star illuminates her:
In the east, at the throne of the Lord,
Tycho shines a star, as if alive.
The star is a symbol of eternity, of the union of man with God. On this night, the lyrical hero asks the Almighty: “What is Fate preparing for me?”. The last quatrain brings him back to the frozen winter forest:
And above the forest, higher and higher The
moon rises and in a wonderful calm The
freezing midnight freezes
And the crystal kingdom of the forest!
The exclamation sentence emphasizes the mood: the lyrical hero is admired both by “marvelous peace” and “crystal forest kingdom”. This is the main idea of the poem, and the topic defines the name.
The poem is written in a three-legged anapest. Three-syllable size always gives a special expressiveness, musicality.
In the depiction of nature Bunin is close to such poets as Fet and Zhukovsky. Both Fetu and Bunin are closer to the night nature, with the help of vivid expressive means they depict her alive and at the same time frozen and asleep. A mystery, understatement, bizarre imagery brings Bunin’s poetry to romantic poets of the XIX century. Zhukovsky and Bunin share similar roots, perhaps this also unites their creativity.
In addition to the abundance of expressive-visual means, we can note a special phonetic design of the poem – alliteration. For example, the repetition of hissing sounds: “lowered”, “motionless”, “bent”, “snowy”, “lacy” and whistling: “snowy”, “frozen,” “horizon,” etc. This combination of ” “ж” and “з”, “с” conveys silence, calmness. The mood of anxiety is emphasized by the sound of “p”:
The wolf sneaks through the snowdrifts with a
cautious and insinuating step.
In some lines, you can find assonance. For example, “He climbed high above the forest”.
The sound of “o” gives smoothness, melodiousness, majesty. The song of the blizzard is emphasized by the vowel “y” (“
I really liked this poem. The rich use of expressive means helps the reader to vividly imagine the beauty of the winter night. The poet does this so beautifully that the poem resembles the canvas of the artist. “Art is an artist-ordered reality bearing the stamp of his temperament, which manifests itself in style,” – this quote by A. Maurois can characterize the entire work of IA Bunin.