17 Mar 2009

The City of Yes and the City of No



His name is Yevgeny Yevtushenko from Russia, the man who holds tens of thousands spellbound when he reads his poems. Today, I would like to share his poems with you, my dearest reader. It's one of my favourite poem:

I am like a train
rushing for many years now
between the city of Yes
and the city of No.
My nerves are strained like wires
between the city of No
and the city of Yes.

Everything is deadly,
everyone frightened, in the city of No.
It’s like a study furnished with dejection.
In it every object is frowning, withholding something,
and every portrait looks out suspiciously,
Every morning its parquet floors are polished with bile,
its sofas are made of falsehood, its walls of misfortune.
You’ll get lots of good advice in it -- like hell you will!--
not a bunch of flowers, or even a greeting.
Typewriters are chattering a carbon copy answer:
"No--no--no…No--no--no. No--no--no."
And when the lights go out altogether,
the ghosts in it begin their gloomy ballet.
You’ll get a ticket to leave –- like hell you will!--
to leave the black town of No.

But in the town of Yes--
life’s like the song of a thrush.
This town’s without walls--
just like a nest.
The sky is asking you to take any star
you like in your hand.
Lips ask for yours, without any shame,
softly murmuring:
"Ah--all that nonsense!"
And in no one is there even a trace of suspicion,
and lowing herds are offering their milk,
and daisies, teasing, are asking to be picked,
and wherever you want to be, you are instantly there,
Taking any train, or plane, or ship that you like.
And water, faintly murmuring, whispers through the years:
"Yes--yes--yes. Yes--yes--yes. Yes--yes--yes."
To tell the truth, the snag is it’s a bit boring at times,
to be given so much, almost without any effort,
in that shining multicolored city of Yes.

Better let me be tossed around--
To the end of my days,
between the city of Yes
and the city of No!
Let my nerves be strained
like wires
between the city of No
And the city of Yes!

1963
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko
From "Bratsky Station and other new poems" 1966



1 comment:

shasha said...

wanie?ancient poem?hmmmm...