Note: A poem written as a part of a project on the collapse of the USSR in a module on Economy, State and Society.
The century gone by—
Witnessed USSR be born and die.
19th Century was a temporal stage;
A historical drama became a rage.
The audience was captivated;
As Czar Nicholas II abdicated.
February to October was frantic;
Menshevik-Bolshevik rift was gigantic.
White and red, red and white;
Were the colours of the fight.
The split was mighty unpleasant;
Between the worker and peasant.
Proletariats were red;
They could hardly buy bread.
Working hours were long;
Bolsheviks said low wages were wrong.
Martov’s side was white;
He understood the peasants’ plight.
October 1917 was his downfall—
As Lenin emerged tall.
USSR as an industrial superpower;
Over capitalist economies, it’d tower.
Lenin’s plans were cut short;
Glorious dreams he had to abort.
Stalin was a cunning man;
Lenin was rightly not a fan.
Trotsky, the favoured successor;
Was trumped by Stalin, the aggressor.
Lenin died in 1924;
Stalin took control, amidst gore.
He did questionable deeds;
But for economic growth, he sowed seeds.
Actual figures under scrutiny;
He tamped down any mutiny.
Counter revolutionaries—shot, jailed, exiled;
Public trust was defiled.
Despotic rule, absolute censorship—
USSR was in his total grip.
Gulags are a blot on history;
At great cost, came his victory.
World War II was waged;
Many were enraged.
An alliance with the West;
Would later create unrest.
The sun finally set;
On the colonists, they fret.
WWII was a game changer;
UN became incipient world’s ranger.
Democracy, co-operation, Fair Trade across border—
Became the New World Order.
Flurry of treaties and accords;
Would all go down in records.
Fledgling Europe would take flight;
With the Marshall Plan in sight.
No help to Germany!—said Russia;
And dampened American euphoria.
Restructuring European economy;
Gave rise to new dichotomy.
Two blocs—East and West;
Non-aligned were the rest.
Free Markets, espoused the States;
With Bipolarity, came endless debates.
Bastion of communism was USSR;
US-Russia relations turned sour.
Cold War was a period tense;
Diplomacy was only a pretence.
Absence of European goodwill;
Was christened ‘Iron Curtain’ by Churchill.
Mutually Assured Destruction;
Prevented outright wars in any direction.
Proxy wars became commonplace;
So did the Arms and Space Race.
Gorbachev was a harbinger of reform—
Restructuring and openness became the norm.
Perestroika and Glasnost criticized or lauded;
Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded.
New freedom brought about demise;
Of a leader very wise.
Soon after the USSR disintegrated;
And global turmoil somewhat abated.
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