Songs Of Revolution

This Yevgeny Yevtushenko poem was in English language Soviet magazine Sputnik, November 1967.

Songs of Revolution

Sing more often
songs of Revolution.
If you’ve forgotten them –
you’re grievously at fault.
Life’s become soft?
You nurse your constitution?
These songs will bring your nursing to a sudden halt
Buy a collection.
Give them thorough inspection.
Not once,
not twice,
but time and again.
To yourself,
or out loud,
with feeling and inflexion,
Don’t toss them aside if they pain your brain.
In their strains you’ll hear
the cold clatter of chains
Coming from snow-swept Siberian plains.
And still they are singing –
not the tunes of the day,
But songs of revolution
in secretive voices
Instead of the bold ones
that stated their choices.
The tyrant’s lash
would have stopped their singing
If they sang as they wished –
top-toned,
ringing.
We are bound to them by the one-blood’s parity.
We are bound to sing with a top-voice clarity.
Life’s become soft?
You nurse your constitution?
You’ve lost faith in people?
Lost faith in the world?
Sing more often
songs of Revolution.
They’ll throw into focus
what a soft life has blurred.

Yevgeny Yevtushenko
1954

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