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:

Anonymous 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

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