Monday, July 18, 2011

the face behind the face - yevgeny yevtushenko

The Face Behind The Face
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (tr. Boyars & Franklin)

Where does it live, the face behind the face?
Everyone ought
To know all that there is
About the face that is his.

People often haven't a clue
About their very own I.
Each of us makes his own
Best defence counsel.

Nero, apparently, thought
He was a poet,
Hitler thought that he
Would redeem the world from woe!

The mean man thinks:  "I am so generous".
The shallow man:  "I am profound".
Sometimes God will sigh:  "I am a worm".
The worm hisses:  "I am God!"

The worms climb arrogantly upwards.
The coward rejoices to be in the clouds.
Only the free man
                "I am a slave".

1 comment:

David Merrifield said...


The silent whisper of the screaming landscape,
The bold abundance of the cloudy heights,
For one the fool so fortunate,
To taste such earthly delights.

David Merrifield

Post a Comment