top of page
  • cathyhendrix

World Poetry Day

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Apparently today, March 21, is World Poetry Day, designated by UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - an intellectual property of the United Nations, dedicated to pursuring peace not only through political and economic avenues but through morality and intellegence as well.

I mostly find poetry through music. Just try to tell me lyrics are not poetry. But I know where UNESCO is going with this World Poetry Day so I will share with you the work of one of my favorite poets, Yevgeny Yevtushenko.


Once people get under my skin,

they never find the exit.

They romp around,

fill my insides with their song and dance,

make lots of noise, using my dumbness as their cover-up.

I’m full to bursting with wise men

and fools- they’ve utterly exhausted me!

So much so that my skin’s

quite worn through

by their heels, rubbing from inside!

Give me a chance to breathe!

It’s all impossible!

I’m stuffed to the gills

with those who’ve brought me so much joy

as well as those who’ve given most offence.

What has come over me?

What can I do with this great throng

stuck in my own small heart-

police are needed to keep order there!

I’ve gone a little cracked,

for there, in that secluded shade,

I’ve dropped none of the women

and none of them’s dropped me!

It’s awkward to revive dead friendships

however much you tire yourself with trying.

The only friends I’ve lost

were on the outside,

but of those inside I’ve lost nobody.

All the people in my life I’ve quarreled with,

or made friends with,

or only shaken hands with,

have merged in a new life under the old one’s skin-

a secret conflagration without flame.

The repossession of the unpossessable

is like a waterfall that rushes upward.

Those who have died

have been born again in me,

those who have not been born as yet

cry out.

My population is too large,

beyond the strength of just one man-

but then, a person would be incomplete

if he contained no others.


Translated by Arthur Boyars and Simon Franklin

More of Yevgeny Yevtushenko's work can be found here:

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page