All posts by Sarah Patten



From her diaries and letters concerning her, Olga was thought to have the best idea out of her family of their eventual fate. Toward the end of her life, she was aloof and very depressed. She spent a lot of time with her ill brother, Alexei,  and in her own thoughts. This last photograph of her with her brother on their last train ride speaks thousands of words:

Little brother, Alexei, and Olga on the train to what would end up being their final destination in 1918. This picture shows an aging and wise princess.

It brings up many questions. And Olga often asked many questions. I believe she naturally searched for truth.

Truth by O
What is truth?

Pilate’s timeless questions
Is well-worth to mention.

Often, truth is in front of us
Which we try to ignore,
Wash , and spill our guilt to the floor.

We can all spout off a list
Of who’s the one to blame
And then read our owns names with shame.

Every person in this house
Must ask themselves what is true
And decide what they’re going to do.

We are accountable
To search for the facts
And then our following acts.

Wherefore, we must all answer to—

What is truth?

Around 1914

Around 1914


Poem © Sarah Patten



Tatiana played the diplomat family at the Ipatiev House. She would make requests on her family’s behalf.

She had exchanged letters with Siberian Prince Alexander. Though Tatiana probably wasn’t in contact with him the last couple months of her life.  I wrote  a poem about how letters from him might have made her feel in the mist of war and chaos.

To Alexander by T

Every single letter–
Every glorious letter–
From you is like a psalm
Its music heals and makes me feel better
Yet, it’s hard to stay calm
When the heavenly envelope
Is placed in my palm.
How hard it is to cope!
When I read your note
My smile grows
At what you wrote.
That is how my love for you goes.

Tatiana in 1914, the same year when possible marriages negotiations started between her and Alexander. Her father  quickly stopped it though because he wanted his daughters to marry someone of their own choice.

Tatiana in 1914, the same year when possible marriages negotiations started between her and Alexander. Her father quickly stopped it though because he wanted his daughters to marry someone of their own choice.


King Alexander. As a prince he couldn't stop staring at Tatiana at a dinner. Though the two never became bethrothed, she was a great loss to him when he heard about her death.

King Alexander. As a prince, he couldn’t stop staring at Tatiana at a dinner. Though the two never were  betrothed, he was devastated of her death.


Poem © Sarah Patten



In 1918, the Romanov Imperial Family was moved to the Impatiev House, their final destination. Maria and her parents were the first to come. On the journey, she talked to civilians, and at the destination, she proved to be the friendliest of the family toward the guards. She showed them her photos and asked about their families.

Each Person
by M upon arrival

If each person could live
The way the Lord taught
Then each person would not
Show hate, but instead forgive

Each person has a family–
Gentile, Muslim, Christian, and Jew
Even the cook, teacher, and sharpshooter too
Each person has kin–like you, like me.

Doesn’t each person
Want their mother to sing them to sleep?
You never realize the love in your heart
Until you’re apart
And try not to weep.

Each person I’ve met abroad
Should praise and sing
That we’re the Lord’s offspring–
Each person is a child of God!


Poem © Sarah Patten

otma pic continues

OTMA Poems Continue

I can’t begin to imagine how the Romanov family managed to get through their last days, but I tried to put myself in their places and have expressed it through poems.

The poems will not go in birth order—meaning starting with Olga then going to Tatiana and so on. It’s going to be more chronological of the events of the family’s last days.

The first round of poems had the sisters’ pictures featured as the cover photo. With the exception of Tatiana, those pictures were some of the last known pictures of the sisters.The rest of these poetry posts (starting October 21, 2017) will include pictures of the sisters within the text from different eras of their lives.


Olga, Tatiana, and Marie-a.k.a. OTMA

OTMA’S Last Poetry Project Introduction

The Romanov execution occurred July 17, 1918 in the basement of the building, the Ipatiev House. The family spent their last months at the house which was also known as the “House of Special Purpose.” When studying about the events at the house, you get a sort of preview of how the family members would act in their final moments.  The family’s reactions varied. The two elder sisters, Olga and Tatiana, held on to each other. The middle sister, Marie, put up a good fight and Anastasia went unnoticed at first before she was killed. (Yes, each member of the family was murdered.)

The Romanov’s last days and the house’s atmosphere included a variety of boredoms, friendliness, and tensions.  It’s an incredible story where everyone seems to have their own agenda, strengths, and flaws. What is exactly was going through their heads? Part of my exploring includes writing poetry from the viewpoint of the sisters—Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia—also known officially as OTMA during their lives. My humble “hypothetical’ project has been depressing, fun, and fulfilling. I’ve written multiple poems from the viewpoint of each sister and hope to do more.

And don’t worry—note every poem will be posted.