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Yevgeny Yevtushenko Has Left the Planet

Yevgeny Yevtushenko has Left the Planet

On a quiet Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma
A Russian poet dies, smiling in his dream
All his life he waited for springtime
But spring never arrived, only sounds
The sound of wind whistling through the trees
Less of a forest than the forest appeared
A tall ghost leaving his white hospital bed
Some say his poetry was like Borscht
But I say his poetry was like a giant kite
Flying on the wings of the great wind
“Frontiers oppressed me” the poet said
“I want an art as varied as myself”
Free verse and rhythm were norm for him
I met him at The Village gate in New York
Alone, a skinny sad man with drunken eyes
A voice of rain that had dried without odor
A voice of a chained bear who could not dance
A voice of the forgotten victims of “Babi Yar”
Kiev’s ravine and grave to 31,000 Jews
Not to forget them, & him, that cried for them
Bella Akhmadulina loved blue eyes sparkle
Remember his bones of the desperate nights
From “Stanciya Zima” to “Bratsk station”
His dreams were doomed to be unfulfilled
But his flight for freedom was not in vain
A magic kite, above, still braving the clouds.

–Valery Oisteanu

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1 thought on “Yevgeny Yevtushenko Has Left the Planet

  1. Hey Valery, i saw Yevtushenko in Adelaide 1966…& last saw you in Fitzroy, Melbourne in 1992 maybe…still in Melbourne but…haven’t been Bali fr sometime…best…colin

    (this year I run the first St Kilda Writers Week in October)…

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