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Saturday, June 5, 2010


Andrei Voznesensky,was described by some as 'one of the greatest living poets in any language'. He was a ''child of the 60s'' being among few iconic intellectuals liberated by the 'thaw' in Khrushchev regime
Andrei graduated from the Institute of Architecture Moscow but the love of poetry proved stronger to give the world of arts an invaluable asset.
As a teenager he sent his poems to noble laureate Boris Pasternak author of Dr. Zhivago, who was his mentor and muse.... Vozenensky was considered as the most daring writer of Soviet era often criticised by his contemporaries for his boldness.
Khrushchev once threatened him with expulsion for his criticisms of the regime.
Boris who was much senior to him and died in 1960 paid him a tribute by writing ''Your entrance into literature was swift and turbulent. I am glad I've lived to to see it.''
He was different in his style from his contemporaries in that he made use of metaphors and images and strong Russian idiom. He was perceived to have been influenced heavily by Pablo Neruda and Vladimir Mayakovsky.
His first poems were published in 1958 and his poem 'I am Goya' inspired by Goya won him instant recognition. It depicted horrors and fears of the war.
In 1963 his fame spread far and wide after Khrushchev unfairly criticised him as 'pervert' and he became as popular as Beatles . He was awarded the State award in 2008 by Russian President Medvedev and was an honorary member of ten academies including Russian,American and French academy of Letters.
He became a recluse many years before his death. He suffered a stroke and passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 1,2010.
Yesterday he was buried in Moscow thus ending a brilliant chapter in the history of literature.
.... .... .... .... .... ....
I am Goya!
I am the
voice of war
the charred wood of towns
I am the throat of the woman
whose hanged like the bell body
clanged over the empty square....
.......... ............ .......

Excerpts from 'Antiworlds'

High above me upside down
stuck like a fork to the ground;
my nice light hearted butterfly
my Antiworld is getting by.

I wonder if it is wrong or right
that antiworlds should date at night
why they sit there side by side
watching TV all through night.

They do not understand a word
it's their last date in this world
they sit and chat for hours, and
they will regret it in the end;

the two have burning ears and eyes
resembling purple butterflies.

(I do not own anything in this.This translation was done by Alec Vagapov)
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