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Valery Yaklovich Bryusov

(December 13 [O.S. December 1] 1873 – October 9, 1924 / Moscow)

To A Young Poet


Pale youth with burning gaze,
I give you three commandments now:
Follow the first: don't live by the present,
The future is a poet's only place.

Second, remember: feel for no one,
Love yourself without bounds.
Safeguard the third: worship art,
Art alone, without thought or goal.

Pale youth with embarrassed gaze!
If you follow my three commandments,
I'll die in peace, a defeated warrior,
Knowing I leave a poet behind.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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