Yevgeny Yevtushenko, fully Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko

Yevtushenko, fully Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko

Russian Poet, Novelist, Essayist, Dramatist, Screenwriter, Actor, Director and Editor

Author Quotes

The only true happiness is to share in the sufferings of the unhappy… It is much better to have the screaming sensitivity of the soul uncovered by any protective skin than to have tear-proof rhinoceros skin in combination with cold fish blood.

In general, in poetry and literature, I am among those people who believe that too much is indispensable.

The hell with it. Who never knew the price of happiness will not be happy.

A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else is just a footnote.

In my blood there is no Jewish blood. In their callous rage, all anti-Semites must hate me now as a Jew. For that reason I am a true Russian.

There is no need to fear the strong. All one needs is to know the method of overcoming them. There is a special jujitsu for every strong man.

All values in this world are more or less questionable, but the most important thing in life is human kindness.

In Russia all tyrants believe poets to be their worst enemies.

Translation is like a woman... If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.

And how I flattered myself from time to time with proving to myself nothing in you could be unknown to me. You don't belong to the mind's calculations, and you disproved each of my demonstrations, since to be unexpected is your truth.

Justice is like a train that is nearly always late.

True sport is always a duel, a duel with nature, with one's own fear, with one's own fatigue, a duel in which the body and the mind are strengthened.

But history is that rare woman who doesn't like to look at herself in the mirror. History, when she finds herself in front of one, wipes and wipes its surface at though in this way she might change her face to something better

Literature has to serve as a moral control of politics,

We stopped the war in Afghanistan. We abolished censorship. We abolished the special commissions that were checking on Russian citizens going abroad. I am very happy that in history my name will be connected to this period.

But what if it doesn't work? ?and they jammed sticks in the wheels of the first locomotive to make sure it wouldn't work.

My first book was bad. It concentrated more on form than content.

When truth is replaced by silence, the silence is a lie.

Envy is an insult to oneself.

My love will come will fling open her arms and fold me in them, will understand my fears, observe my changes. In from the pouring dark, from the pitch night without stopping to bang the taxi door she?ll run upstairs through the decaying porch burning with love and love?s happiness, she?ll run dripping upstairs, she won?t knock, will take my head in her hands, and when she drops her overcoat on a chair, it will slide to the floor in a blue heap.

While you're alive it's shameful to worm your way into the Calendar of Saints. Disbelief in yourself is more saintly. It takes real talent not to dread being terrified by your own agonizing lack of talent. Disbelief in yourself is indispensable. Indispensable to us is the loneliness of being gripped in the vise, so that in the darkest night the sky will enter you and skin your temples with the stars, so that streetcars will crash into the room, wheels cutting across your face, so the dangling rope, terrible and alive, will float into the room and dance invitingly in the air. Indispensable is any mangy ghost in tattered, overplayed stage rags, and if even the ghosts are capricious, I swear, they are no more capricious than those who are alive. Indispensable amidst babbling boredom are the deadly fear of uttering the right words and the fear of shaving, because across your cheekbone graveyard grass already grows. It is indispensable to be sleeplessly delirious, to fail, to leap into emptiness. Probably, only in despair is it possible to speak all the truth to this age. It is indispensable, after throwing out dirty drafts, to explode yourself and crawl before ridicule, to reassemble your shattered hands from fingers that rolled under the dresser. Indispensable is the cowardice to be cruel and the observation of the small mercies, when a step toward falsely high goals makes the trampled stars squeal out. It's indispensable, with a misfit's hunger, to gnaw a verb right down to the bone. Only one who is by nature from the naked poor is neither naked nor poor before fastidious eternity. And if from out of the dirt, you have become a prince, but without principles, unprince yourself and consider how much less dirt there was before, when you were in the real, pure dirt. Our self-esteem is such baseness... The Creator raises to the heights only those who, even with tiny movements, tremble with the fear of uncertainty. Better to cut open your veins with a can opener, to lie like a wino on a spit-spattered bench in the park, than to come to that very comfortable belief in your own special significance. Blessed is the madcap artist, who smashes his sculpture with relish- hungry and cold-but free from degrading belief in himself.

Everything I do, I do on the principle of Russian borscht. You can throw everything into it beets, carrots, cabbage, onions, everything you want. What's important is the result, the taste of the borscht.

No one sleeps more beautifully than you. But i am afraid that you will waken just now, and touch me with an indifferent glance, lightly passing, and commit the murder of beauty.

Who never knew the price of happiness will not be happy.

Galileo, the clergy maintained, was a pernicious and stubborn man. But time has a way of demonstrating the most stubborn are the most intelligent. In Galileo's day, a fellow scientist was no more stupid than Galileo. He was well aware the earth revolved, but he also had a large family to feed. Stepping into a carriage with his wife, after effecting his betrayal, he believed he was launched on a career, though he was undermining it in reality. Galileo alone had risked asserting the truth about our planet, and this made him a great man... His was a genuine career as I understand it. I salute then a career, when the career is akin to that of a Shakespeare or Pasteur, a Newton or Tolstoy- Leo! Why did people fling mud at them all? Talent speaks for itself, whatever the charges. We've forgotten the men who abused them, Remember only the victims of slander. All who rushed into the stratosphere, the doctors who perished fighting cholera, were, all of them, men of career! I take their careers as my example! I believe in their sacred faith. Their faith is my very manhood. I shall therefore pursue my career by trying not to pursue one.

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Yevtushenko, fully Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko
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Russian Poet, Novelist, Essayist, Dramatist, Screenwriter, Actor, Director and Editor