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Again a meeting ...

Again a meeting...

   "You have courage,"
   they tell me.

   It's not true.
   I was never courageous.
   I simply felt it unbecoming
   to stoop to the cowardice of my colleagues.

   I've shaken no foundations.
   I simply mocked at pretense
   and inflation.
   Wrote articles.
   Again a meeting, noisy, dying,
   half colloquium,
   half co-lying.

   The last cowardly editor
   will be doomed forever
   to read from the stage in sequence
   everything that he destroyed.

   So that the last bureaucrat
   can rest and be silent,
   his gullet will be stuffed in payment
   with the last rubber stamp.

   You, my friends,
   are silent with reason.
   But cowardly silence
   also is treason.

   I must lug my battered body
   garbage-littered
   across the frontiers of the world,
   recite my wear-shined cliches
   for nameless firesides
   and fidget, a supple suppliant, for papers
   in a thousand wooden ante-rooms;
   wince, in the tense air of recognition
   as the clean-limbed, simple and innocent grow hostile;

   --in my baggage I bear the ticking explosives
   of reproach, and threat, and challenge.
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Title Annotation:CRITICAL POEMS
Author:Yevtushenko, Yevgeny
Publication:The American Dissident
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:166
Previous Article:Denied/Rechazado.
Next Article:The Greats, the Classics.

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