The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Kalinov Meadow

Kalinov Meadow is the largest and the best meadow for mowing at Yasnaya Polyana. It stretches along the Voronka river, from the Prudishche meadow to the village of Grumant. Leo Tolstoy often mowed grass here with the peasants. «It’s the sixth day already that I am mowing with the peasants all day long», he wrote in a letter to Prince Urusov in 1870, «and I can’t describe to you not just the pleasure, but the happiness it gives me».

kalinovFor mowing, Tolstoy could organize a team that included, besides himself, several old peasants and some of his sons. Occasionally, his friends and guests also took part in the mowing. For gathering hay, Tolstoy’s daughters could join the team, and sometimes even their mother Sophia did, inspired by their enthusiasm.

It is also at the Kalinov Meadow that Levin mows grass with the peasants in Anna Karenina.

«Towards evening Konstantin Levin went to his counting house, gave directions as to the work to be done, and sent about the village to summon the mowers for the morrow, to cut the hay in Kalinov meadow, the largest and best of his grass lands. <...>

Next morning Konstantin Levin got up earlier than usual, but he was detained giving directions on the farm, and when he reached the mowing grass the mowers were already at their second row. <...>

Levin got off his mare, and fastening her up by the roadside went to meet Tit, who took a second scythe out of a bush and gave it to him.

«It's ready, sir; it's like a razor, cuts of itself,» said Tit, taking off his cap with a smile and giving him the scythe.

Tit made room, and Levin started behind him» (Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina).

Now this meadow is still used for mowing. By the mowing time, the meadow reminds one of a motley carpet covered with flowers, which Tolstoy described with such perceptiveness in the foreword to Haji-Murad


 
 
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