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The Death of Ivan Ilyich Joseph Young


I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy, stopping every four pages to write a story.


One We may well—we—alive, have our cigarette, carriage, the several small rooms. There are the pictures in oil, or pastel, of the cottage, and the great fish, and the drive along the lake. We alive we have the game and the ring, all around a finger, the shadow of hats on the polished red floors.


Two The arrangement of planets becomes the gentleman, even there in the wild rows. What can you do, and do for we? Decorate these rooms, men, and then the ladies. Think not terrible, He won’t come for us now.


Three To marry and child, these degrees of the unhappiest home. Bring out the china, take the meal, harpy tongues and brandy. What is that, my French? You Dearest? Another child, earth to mouth, cries to grass. Another here she comes.


Four The bridled horses of fate and evening wear, turning in their squares. What is good is good is good. Poised for power, our ladder rising, a drapery hung.


Five The kidney, liver, and appendices of humor, the organs of all worry. We’ll set them till our hands do part, all of an evening.


Six Outside the window the bird that drums, the blue and Russian winter. Slow fall a snow, the creep and stalk of knowing, we won’t falter in the going.


Seven So what did youth say dying? Bring me iron pails of water or milk, the green logs, the strange crickets. Bring the cloaks. But it hasn’t been dying, in the gray new morning.


Eight The clock, the same, a clock, still same, the sweep of the doctor’s hands. Say the lies we will, bring it up in dressing gowns. We head for the hardened shore.


Nine Stare one thousand years a week, buttons to the couch, the fabric of my hands. Where will we pend, and why? The town may be singing, the dogs can rise, what good in any.


Ten The bed is empty, the room is long. We are sorry there is more. Oh stay now, oh stay.


~


The Death of Ivan Ilyich  

Tolstoy's novella

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