Breaking Up

February 14, 2006 at 11:21 am 3 comments

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

In what what would be our first listener request, we have a Yevtushenko poem, recorded by Rivera.


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 puppy is puzzled. Our furry small monster
can’t decide why we complicate simple things so —
he whines at your door and I let him enter,
when he scratches at my door, you always go.

Dog, sentimental dog, you’ll surely go crazy,
running from one to the other like this —
too young to conceive of an ancient idea:
it’s ended, done with, over, kaput. Finis.

Get sentimental and we end up by playing
the old melodrama, “Salvation of Love.”
“Forgiveness,” we whisper, and hope for an echo;
but nothing returns from the silence above.

Better save love at the very beginning,
avoiding all passionate “nevers,” “forevers;”
we ought to have heard what the train wheels were shouting,
“Do not make promises!” Promises are levers.

We should have made note of the broken branches,
we should have looked up at the smokey sky,
warning the witless pretensions of lovers —
the greater the hope is, the greater the lie.

True kindness in love means staying quite sober,
weighing each link of the chain you must bear.
Don’t promise her heaven — suggest half an acre;
not “unto death,” but at least to next year.

And don’t keep declaring, “I love you, I love you.”
That little phrase leads a durable life —
when remembered again in some loveless hereafter,
it can sting like a hornet or stab like a knife.

So — our little dog in all his confusion
turns and returns from door to door.
I won’t say “forgive me” because I have left you;
I ask pardon for one thing: I loved you before.

I know there are a whole bunch of people who would not appreciate this poem today and others who would, and then there is the third kind, who will wonder, what all the fuss is about? :) This is for everyone of you.

Check the minstrels for commentary on the poem and wiki for Yevtushenko’s bio.


Entry filed under: Black Mamba, English, Rivera, Russian, Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

Last Sonnet / Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art Saddest Poem – II

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sa re ga ma  |  February 15, 2006 at 7:34 am


  • 2. catch 22  |  February 23, 2006 at 1:43 am

    Just too good !!!!

  • 3. m. kishore  |  April 28, 2007 at 7:43 am


    yevtushenko’s poems can be sung then?

    a pathetic experiment at the cost of the poor, voiceless poet!


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