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2003-10-23 - 9:48 a.m.

Do you ever rediscover poets. Or just poetry in general? I haven't read any poetry in months. Maybe a year. And for some reason I felt compelled to pick up a Russian poet whose collection I found on my shelves. I'm not sure why. The funny thing is... I used to be so passionate for this guy's works.. and now I can't remember exactly what drew me to him. I look at the pages I turned down in the anthology trying to remember what I saw in those words and I don't get it.

I did find this one though that calls to me now:

from New York Elegy

To S. Mitman

At night, in New York's Central Park,

chilled to the bone and belonging to no one,

I talked quietly with America:

both of us were weary of speeches.

I talked with my footsteps--

unlike words, they do not lie--

and I was answered with circles

dead leaves uttered, falling onto a pond.

Snow was falling, sliding embarrassed

past bars where noisiness never ceases,

settling tinted on the swollen neon veins

on the city's sleepless brow,

on the incessant smile of a candidate

who was trying, not without difficulty, to get in

somewhere, I don't remember just where,

and to the snow it didn't matter where.

But in the Park it fell undisturbed:

the snowflakes descended cautiously

onto the softly sinking leaves,

soggy multicolored floats;

onto a pink and tremulous balloon

childishly fastened with chewing gum

to the trunk of an evergreen

and sleepily rubbing its cheek against the sky;

onto someone's forgotten glove,

onto the zoo, which had shown its guests out,

onto the bench with its wistful legend:


Yevgeny Yevtushenko


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