Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko is a Soviet and Russian poet. He is also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.
Yevtushenko was born Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Gangnus (later he took his mother's last name, Yevtushenko) in the Irkutsk region of Siberia in a small town called Zima Junction on 18 July 1933 to a peasant family of mixed Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar heritage, "His great-grandfather, Joseph Yevtushenko, a suspected subversive, was exiled to Siberia after the 1881 assassination of Emperor Alexander II and died en route. Both of Yevtushenko's grandfathers were arrested during Stalin's purges... more »
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Yevgeny Yevtushenko Poems
Tsars, Kings, Emperors, sovereigns of all the earth, have commanded many a parade, but they could not command humor.
When your face came rising above my crumpled life, the only thing I understood at first was how meager were all my possessions.
I fell out of love: that’s our story’s dull ending, as flat as life is, as dull as the grave. Excuse me-I’ll break off the string of this love song and smash the guitar. We have nothing to save.
The twentieth century has often fooled us. We've been squeezed in by falsehood as by taxes. The breath of life has denuded our ideas as quickly as it strips a dandelion.
Galileo, the clergy maintained, was a pernicious and stubborn man.
No people are uninteresting. Their fate is like the chronicle of planets. Nothing in them in not particular,
Don't disappear.... By disappearing from me, you will disappear from yourself, betraying your own self forever, and that will be the basest dishonesty.
Lying to the young is wrong. Proving to them that lies are true is wrong. Telling them that God’s in his heaven
Conversation with an American Writer
'You have courage, ' they tell me. It's not true. I was never courageous. I simply felt it unbecoming to stoop to the cowardice of my colleagues.
Mother, let me congratulate you on the birthday of your son. You worry so much about him. Here he lies, he earns little, his marriage was unwise,
Whenever the wind drops an alder catkin into my palm, or a cuckoo calls merrily, with trains screaming by,
No monument stands over Babii Yar. A dropp sheer as a crude gravestone. I am afraid. Today I am as old in years
Picture of Childhood
Elbowing our way, we run. Someone is being beaten up in the market. You wouldn’t want to miss it! We pick up speed, racing to the uproar,
Something dangerous is beginning: I am coming late to my own self. I made an appointment with my thoughts- the thoughts were snatched from me.
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Why is it that right-wing bastards always stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, while liberals fall out among themselves?''Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b. 1933), Russian poet. Quoted in Observer (London, December 15, 1991).
Comments about Yevgeny Yevtushenko
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Tsars, Kings, Emperors,
sovereigns of all the earth,
have commanded many a parade,
but they could not command humor.
When Aesop, the tramp, came visiting
the palaces of eminent personages
ensconced in sleek comfort all day,
they struck him as paupers.
In houses, where hypocrites have
left the smear of their puny feet,
there Hodja-Nasr-ed-Din, with his jests,
swept clean all meanness
like a board of chessmen!
They tried to commission humor-
but humor is not to be bought!
They tried to murder humor,
but humor thumbed his nose at them! ...