Yevgeny Yevtushenko

(18 July 1933 / Zima Junction, Siberia)


  • ''In my blood there is no Jewish blood.
    In their callous rage, all antisemites must hate me now as a Jew.
    For that reason I am a true Russian.''
    Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b. 1933), Russian poet. "Babi Yar," (1961), trans. by George Reavey. last lines of the poem which described the massacre of 96,000 Jews in the Ukraine by the Nazis. The poem caused controversy by implying that the Soviet régime was antisemitic.
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  • ''Give me a mystery—just a plain and simple one—a mystery which is diffidence and silence, a slim little, barefoot mystery: give me a mystery—just one!''
    Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b. 1933), Russian poet. "Mysteries," st. 10 (1960), trans. by Dimitri Obolensky (1965).
  • ''In any man who dies there dies with him,
    his first snow and kiss and fight ...
    Not people die but worlds die in them.''
    Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b. 1933), Russian poet. People.
  • ''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).

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Babii Yar

No monument stands over Babii Yar.
A dropp sheer as a crude gravestone.
I am afraid.
Today I am as old in years
as all the Jewish people.
Now I seem to be
a Jew.
Here I plod through ancient Egypt.
Here I perish crucified, on the cross,

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