Title of a poem written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
in The Brothers Karamazov
Oh, this little foot so fair,
Swollen just a little, there!
Doctors call on it with cures,
Bandage it and make it worse.
'Tis not feet, though, make me pine--
Poet Pushkin sing their praise:
For the head I grieve and pine,
And it cannot grasp ideas.
It had grasped a little bit,
But fair foot got in the way!
Let the foot be healed and fit,
So that comprehend head may!
This deliberately horrible piece serves two purposes:
From David McDuff's translation.
- It parodies a parody by D. D. Minayev of Pushkin's poem, "Sumptuous city, city poor". This was Dostoyevsky's way of taking a jab at literary critics.
- It shows the lack of intelligence of the character Rakitin. Here he is equated with the "poet-accuser" Minayev and other untalented "intellectuals" of the 19th Century.