Anna Karenina

Through smoke and steam their eyes connect
and their souls, the same.
She, true beauty
he is smitten, amazed.

They next meet and dance the Mazurka
his romantic assault on her senses, relentless.

She, a trophy wife
married for too long in only name
is easy prey to this dashing cavalryman
whose declarations of undying love
both stir and excite the neglected wife.

They danced up close
come together again and, he’d amuse her
with his words of sweet seduction.

In love there is no sense
once passion’s flame ignites the
heart’s desire
sanity swiftly becomes, insane.

Their affair was the talk of the town
refused a divorce and access to her
beloved son she soon became an
outcast in Russian high society
and, ‘though his love had been sincere
he became restless, missed his
his freedom and cavalier life.

She grew increasingly insecure
jealous and possessive
until he felt stifled and escaped
her somewhat oppressive yolk
to join a war which inflamed his
desire and flirt with another
more suited for wife his mother
approved of.

Poor Anna,
watched him holding hands with the
new love of his life
and with nothing left to live for
saw the train on the track
heard the knock, knock knocking
of steel on the wheels
remembering the fate of another
and all too soon
leaped to meet her own.

This is my short version of the novel Anna Karenina by Russian author Leo Tolstoy
It is much more detailed than I could write into this poem and would take a few postings to cover it all but, the gist of it is, hypocrisy, jealousy, faith, fidelity, family, marriage, society, love and passion.
Sad because she is married but, her husband is a snob, married to his work and keeping his good name in society. He treats her as a possession. She is happy but not content. Count Vronsky (I feel) is selfish in his relentless pursuit of her, even though he knows she is married.
The opening scene really sets the story up as a rail worker knocking ice off the train wheels is crushed when the train begins to move. Anna sees his death as an ‘evil omen’ little knowing then that this would be her fate too.

I love old movies and although this has been filmed several times I watched the Greta Garbo 1935 version of it on Sunday, and loved Garbo’s beauty and, undeniable acting talent. Her facial expressions alone tell a story without any words needed.
The video clip is about 3 mins but, you can see an outline of the story from start to end.

So my genre is a famous book and movie.

Shared with Poetry Jam Genre
Three Word Wednesday CCLXXXV1 Amuse, Excite, Sincere

Author: Daydreamer

I live on a beautiful island in Atlantic Canada.

25 thoughts on “Anna Karenina”

  1. brilliant, Bren! to take a book {or movie} of that length and condense it to a poem with the same emotions is stunning! the flow of your tale lacks nothing! i loved the Garbo film, too.

    thank you so much for participating at Poetry Jam!

  2. I enjoyed reading your lovely prose poetry about this fascinating story. It makes me want to see the movie! Well done, you captured the gist of the story with lots of vivid details. 🙂

  3. ‘passions flame ignites the heart’s desire…my favorite verse of this
    wonderful poem – i wish all book reviews were as well-written and lovingly as this one.

  4. “his romantic assault on her senses, relentless.”
    What an absolutely amazing summary of the novel and capture of the sense of it! I read those fat books for their language–even in translation–and the language also thrills here. I also read them for their philosophy, but here we have a more timely one supplied in the comments. I truly like your moments with the train. Beautifully done.

  5. The reason why literature is so important is to educate.The Russian and French authors are a sort of manual on how to spot bastards like Vronsky and what to expect. Of course it did not stop me getting involved with Vronskies but it did keep me from the railway tracks. Good poem.

  6. What a story…full of intrigue and passion….so sad that she has to kill herself….. Thanks for sharing the video clip too ~

  7. Very nice–I have a fondness for Russian writers (Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are favorites), and you have created a fine summary of a great novel.

  8. nice…you hit the high points for sure…and what a tale it is…somewhere along hte way i read it….dont know that i have seen a movie version….rather tragic all around…

  9. I was supposed to enjoy this story in ballet form last week and a cold prevented me from attending the performance. Your account made the sad story live.

  10. Okay, I TOTALLY have to watch the version you did and see if it brings an amazing poem to me too.

    I like this and agree… “no sense once passion’s flame ignites the
    heart’s desire…” The best stuff of life indeed.


  11. Sounds like a bit of a downer of an ending for sure. Can’t say I’ve seen this one, black and white, geez haha

  12. I remember how I felt reading this novel. Saw the movie too in another version…….she paid such a price with the loss of her little son, all for a charmer with no substance. Very sad ending. This poem took me back. Well done.

  13. ‘knock, knock knocking’ is very effective..really brings this story to a fittingly dramatic ending jae

  14. I have never read this novel, but I would like to. Your summary further heightened my interest. I should try to locate an old movie version of it. But I would assume the Garbo version would be pretty hard to find! Enjoyed this, Bren.

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