Poetry Corner: VE Day 75 – Wait for Me

As part of the celebrations around the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, Challenge’s Poetry Corner will be featuring a selection of poems from across the world, inspired by the war and its events.

Here we feature Wait for Me written in 1941 by Konstantin Simonov. The poem is written from the perspective of a Soviet soldier heading to the front, addressing their spouse or partner. It became a favourite of Soviet servicemen and women at the time and continues to be popular in Russia today.

Wait for me and I’ll come back!
Wait with all your might!
Wait when dreary yellow rains
Tell you nothing’s right;
Wait when snow is falling fast;
Wait when summer’s hot;
When no one waits for other men
And all the past’s forgot!
Wait when those that wait with you
Are bored and tired and glum,
And when it seems, from far away,
No letters ever come!

Konstantin Simonov, 1915 – 1979

Wait for me and I’ll come back!
Wait in patience yet
When they tell you off by heart
That you should forget;
And when my mother and my son
Give up on me at last
And friends sit sadly round the fire
And talk about the past
And drink a bitter glass of wine
In memory of me –
Wait! No rush to drink with them!
Tell them to wait and see!

Wait for me and I’ll come back,
Escaping every fate!
‘Just a lot of luck!’ they’ll say,
Those that didn’t wait.
They will never understand
How, amidst the strife,
By your waiting for me, dear,
You had saved my life!
Only you and I will know
How you got me through!
Simply – you knew how to wait!
No one else but you!

Konstantin Simonov, 1941

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