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Bees in a Deserted Hive

Daniel Soar: Nikolai Gumilev, 27 April 2000

The Pillar of Fire 
by Nikolai Gumilev, translated by Richard McKane.
Anvil, 252 pp., £12.95, August 1999, 0 85646 310 8
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... In 1916, Private Nikolai Gumilev and two of his superiors came under fire on the bank of the River Dvina north of St Petersburg; the two officers jumped into the nearest trench. Gumilev wouldn’t be rushed: still in range of the battery on the other side of the river, he lit a cigarette and smoked it ...

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