The Moon, torn from the Sun, her only lover,
Rose, starry-eyed and weeping beams of light,
A mourning widow left to wisp and hover,
A torturously pitiable sight,
Wan from the strain of sobbing out her eyes,
Now crater-like and dark from sleepless grief,
Still hoping that the Sun may streak the skies
And give her bitter sorrows due relief.

The Sun, torn from the Moon, his pale beloved,
Rose, swelling hot with grievous, tortured wrath,
Destroying every farmer’s yield and profit
And desiccating all before his path,
Reducing teeming seas to lifeless dunes,
Transforming streams to rugged, scraggly dust,
Enraged and fuming, yearning for the Moon’s
Smooth balming kiss to sate his torrid lust.

But unbeknownst to them, Fate now began
Gyrating the entire universe
In favor of these two, armed with a plan
To reunite them both, his love with hers.
In short, they’ll meld the shadows of their lips
Into an ardent, momentary kiss,
The meager fleetingness of one eclipse
All that they’ll have to savor of love’s bliss.



Gleb Zavlanov is a young poet and songwriter living in New York City. He is a 2017 graduate of Townsend Harris High School. His YouTube channel can be found here.

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12 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    Dear Gleb –

    I love both moon and sun and often write about them and their relationship, and so this poem immediately caught my eye. I would like to show you some of my moon poems, but find the practice of encasing one’s own work in a criticism distasteful. You will find some at Trinacria, Pennsylvania Review, and Expansive Poetry Online, to name a few.

    Let me just say that if you keep on writing like this, you are on your way to shaking up the poetry world.

    But Just so you don’t get too big a head, I do have one thing which might need improving, and that would be the title. Titles are sometimes very difficult, I know, and may be why so many poets cheat by using a line or phrase from the body of the poem. I think that is cheating, and sells the poem short.

    To be more specific, my feeling is that the present title is much too prosaic for such an unusual poem. Also, I know you can do better.

    This is very good work from such a young poet!
    Fine, flowing meter, and interesting wording encased in correct grammar. Please show us more, and never stop writing.

    Thanks for a good start to the day.

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Ms. Cook,

      Thank you for reading and giving such a thorough review.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it and I’ll take your advice about titles into consideration for future poems.
      Also, I’ve looked at your poems in the journals you’ve listed and I enjoyed them. I find the poem “A Tale of Innocence” to be particularly beautiful.


  2. Leo Zoutewelle

    Dear Gleb,
    I really liked your poem! Nicely built from a very original idea.
    Thanks for that!

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Mr. Zoutewelle,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed.


  3. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    A beautifully conceived, admirably crafted poem. When the choice of words and form melt away to reveal the wonder beneath; when the poet can conjure images that have this reader wallowing in the glory of the pictures those words paint, I know it’s a work of wonder. It has been an absolute privilege and inspiration to read your poem – thank you, Gleb!

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Ms. Bryant,

      Thank you for reading my poem. It inspires me to know that my poem was so effective and stirring for you and I’m glad you enjoyed.


  4. C.B. Anderson

    Gleb, I commend you for daring to rhyme “beloved” & “profit,” for this is not a half-rhyme, but a quarter-rhyme at best. Oddly enough, in German “sun” is a feminine noun (die Sonne) and “moon” is masculine (der Mond), but this does not matter, since we’re speaking English here. But it is cause to wonder where these gender assignments come from. If anything was lacking in your astronomical thesis, it was the role of earth in all of this, or at least in the case of a lunar eclipse. In a solar eclipse earth is nothing more than an observer. Anyway, Gleb, refine your skills, augment your knowledge, and follow your bliss, because here, as in the past, you have shown us great promise.

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Dear Mr. Anderson,

      Thank you for these very helpful tips. I will keep them in mind when writing more poems in the future.

      Your confusion in regards to the gendering of the moon and sun is interesting: as I was writing the poem, it happened very naturally and I never even thought about this gendering until I read your comment.


  5. David Gosselin


    What a nice touch!

    It’s great to see new young talent. I’d like to share with you two essays that had a profound effect on me and forever changed the way I thought of poetry.

    The first is by the poet Daniel Leach and it discusses the nature of Keats’ poetic development in the composition of the Great Odes:

    The second is by Paul Gallagher, another fine poet, in my opinion. It discusses the battle of Shelley and Keats to revive the classical tradition of Shakespeare, Dante and Homer:


    David Gosselin

    • David Gosselin


      I ended up on your youtube page and was truly surprised by your love-dream waltz. It’s truly beautiful!

      I’ve studied bel canto for some years, German lieder, and have worked quite a bit on translating lieds so that people may discover the truly sublime and unique cross fertilization poetry and music, which is the Lied.

      A friend and music scholar Fred Haight produced a very very revolutionary video lecture in two parts entitled, “Brahms’ advice for composers.” I think you’ll enjoy it:

      The fact that you compose both poetry and music, that’s great. Have you heard of Alma Deustcher, the new young Mozart prodigy? When I think of new classical works that are truly beautiful, Alma really takes the cake, and she’s only 14!

      Here she is improvising with 4 notes picked randomly out of a hat:


      David Gosselin

      • Gleb Zavlanov

        Dear Mr. Gosselin,

        Thank you for reading and commenting and also for providing the essays and video links. They all seem intriguing and I’ll give them a look for sure.

        I also appreciate that you took the time to hear some of my music. It’s wonderful to talk to someone who is well-versed in it, especially in such exquisite genres as Bel Canto and the German Lied, both of which demonstrate without a doubt that poetry and music are very intimately linked. Unfortunately, I feel poets and musicians alike are beginning to lose awareness of this “cross-fertilization” as you have so aptly called it.

        And yes, I have heard of Alma Deutscher. She is unbelievably gifted considering her age and it’s great to realize that this world is blessed with such abundance of talent.


  6. David Gosselin


    Do feel free to submit something to The Chained Muse journal, which I edit. You can submit directly to

    In regards to lieder, I just published a recent translation, “Immer leise wird mein schlummer:

    The goal is to bring as many of these great lieder poems to life as new authentic English poems. This way, when people follow along with the music, they can get a sense of how the poem actually “works” and how it’s idea unfolds as a verbal/musical process (as opposed to a merely nominal meaning).

    I look forward to seeing more of your stuff.




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