“…And silently the earth swallowed him up.”

They arrived at Smolensk Cemetery on Vasilievsky Island. To the right of the cemetery entrance, at the tiny Church of the Resurrection, the choir of the Mariinsky Theater sang Rachmaninov’s mass and the Tchaikovsky liturgy during the final service for the dead. Anonymous young women, weeping, brought flowers to the coffin and kissed Blok’s hand. After the service, Blok’s white coffin was carried along the tiny, overgrown paths to the Beketov family plot, which had been chosen as his final resting place. The grave was marked by a simple, unpainted wooden cross. No one spoke. Bely, grabbing on to a birch tree, “looked at the grave with large, widened, almost rectangular, eyes.” It is on this note of silence falling over Blok, Blok’s poetry, and Petersburg, that Zamiatin eloquently concludes his narrative: “And finally—underneath the sun, along the narrow tree–lined paths—we carry that foreign, heavy something, that is left of Blok. And silently—in the same way that Blok was silent in these years—silently the earth swallows Blok up.”

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