Poem – Dostoevsky’s Wife

Greetings! I’m writing this late on what has ben a very snowy and delightful day. The snow is actually what inspired me to share this poem I’m about to share with you. The delight, not so much… 😀 You see, this poem isn’t exactly happy. I wrote it last semester based on a random prompt that my poetry professor gave me. She told me that apparently the famous Russian writer Dostoevsky was once so poor that he sold his wife’s coat for a loaf of bread to keep his starving family alive. I don’t know if it’s a true fact, but that image caught my imagination and got me thinking. Dostoevsky might have stayed hunger’s pangs for a while, but the loss of a coat would’ve invited death in another, just as cruel, way, in the form of cold. This poem contains my ponderings on that fact…


Woe to the woman huddled

in the gutted belly of this

wind-trembled house.


Mouth to frigid breast her

child drinks, cling to warmth

slipping away like the moon-pulled tide.


Wild ice dance, blurring blue eyes,

her hair is like a weeping willow.

‘Hush my child, hush my child’,

croon like mourning doves.


Her husband has sold her coat

for a loaf of rye bread.

But how will this bread wage war against winter?


So, there you have it. It was such a random but thought-provoking image, I just had to write about it. And today it seemed appropriate to share, given that my world is currently frosted over with snow and ice. 🙂

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this poem in the comments! Have you ever learnt a random fact from history that stuck in your brain like this one?

Author: Hannah

Jesus follower. writer. bibliophile. dreamer.

2 thoughts on “Poem – Dostoevsky’s Wife”

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