Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
To appreciate fully this very short story, apparently no more than a sketch, one must understand its context. Most significant is its position as the first of thirty-five related stories originally collected under the title Konarmiia (1926; Red Cavalry, 1929). The stories all deal with the Russian campaign against Poland—from July through September, 1920—undertaken by General Semyon Budyonny’s First Cavalry. The author, a Jew from Odessa who rejected Judaism to become a communist, participated in this campaign (which was unsuccessful) as a propaganda officer and a war correspondent.
The narrator of the various Red Cavalry stories is apparently the same person throughout and autobiographical in essential features. Consequently, although little information is given about the narrator of the initial story, one learns from later stories that he is Jewish.
“Crossing into Poland” begins with a note that Novograd-Volynsk was taken at dawn. Now the rearguard is marching on the highroad from Brest to Warsaw, crossing into Poland over the twisting torrents of the River Zbruch.
The largely peaceful and brightly colored sights of nature—fields, flowers, streams, the sun, and finally the moon—are described as a prose poem often employing striking, disturbing, and contradictory imagery. Late at night, the narrator reaches Novograd and is billeted in a house where Jews live. He describes them as...
(The entire section is 357 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Crossing into Poland Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!