Now, my bride will clearly

Now, my bride will clearly weep for me sincerely,

And my friends will settle all my debts at last,

Others men will gather to sing my songs completely,

And, perhaps, my enemies may even raise a glass.

They’ll no longer grant me here books that I desire,

One of my guitar strings has become undone.

Here, I can’t get lower and I can’t get higher,

I can’t have the moon, and I can’t have the sun.

Here, I don't have freedom – stripped of rights outright,

To the door or to the wall - no matter how I rage,

Here, I can’t turn left and I can’t turn right,

I can only have my dreams and the skyline's edge.

Dreams of how I’ll leave from my prison hastily,

With my old guitar in hand, I’ll walk out free.

Who will come to greet me, who will then embrace me,

And what songs, I wonder, will they sing to me?
Vladimir Vysotsky
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+1

Silver strings

As I carry my guitar – walls, before me, separate!

I can see no freedom that evil fortune brings!

You can cut my throat, you can slash my veins, irate, -

But be careful not to rip my cherished silver strings!



I'll dig myself into the dirt, and disappear, perhaps, -

Would you shield a tortured youth underneath your wings!

They have climbed into my soul, and tore it into scraps,

I only hope they do not rip my cherished silver strings.



They took my freedom – my guitar, my life is out of order, -

I had to watch these scumbags ravage through my things!

"Kick me straight into the mud, throw me in the water -

But, I beg you, do not rip my cherished silver strings!"



What has happened, brothers? Am I never destined

To observe the sun again, or how the twilight sinks?!

They took away my freedom, left my soul in festers, -

And now they have completely ripped my cherished silver strings...
Vladimir Vysotsky
Read in English and Russian
+1

He, who's been with her before

That night, I didn’t drink, I didn’t sing,

I stared at her and didn’t blink,

As though a child, as though a child,

But he, who’s been with her before,

He told me, I should simply go,

He told me, I should simply go,

I’d face denial.

And he, who’s been with her before,

Was rude to me, he yelled and swore, -

Yes, I remember - I wasn’t drunk then.

But as I tried to walk away,

She told me: - What’s the hurry, stay! -

She told me: - What’s the hurry, stay,

It isn’t late yet.

But he, who’s been with her before,

Remembered and did not let go,

Then, in the fall, then, in the fall -

I’m with my friend, they blocked our lane.

They stood together in a chain,

They stood together in a chain,

Eight men in all.

I’ve got my knife, and I decide:

I won’t go down without a fight.

Watch out, you fools! Watch out, you fools!

Why should I wait to be submersed?

And so, I chose to strike them first,

And so, I chose to strike them first,

Those were the rules.

But he, who’s been with her before

Would not let up, he wanted more,

To set me straight, to set me straight.

And from behind, someone attacked

Val tried to help me: - Watch your back! -

Val tried to help me: - Watch your back! -

But far too late.

For all eight sins - one resolution.

A prison clinic’s - my conclusion,

I lied there flat, I lied there flat.

The surgeon cut across and down

He told me: - Bro, just hang around! -

He told me: - Bro, just hang around! -

And I did that.

And all alone, I served my term,

She did not wait for my return,

But I forgive her, yes, I forgive her.

I don’t hold grudges anymore,

But him, who’s been with her before,

But him, who’s been with her before,

I won’t be leaving.

Thought she don’t owe me anymore,

With him, who’s been with her before,

With him, who’s been with her before,

I will get even!
Vladimir Vysotsky
Read in English and Russian
+1

I'm working, with my knife in hand

I’m working, with my knife in hand, -

Don’t vex me now, you understand,

And later – I’ll be going to the bar.

Let people think that I’m insane,

But I obtain – I drink my gain, -

And I will do it as I’ve done so far.

A man walks up to me, enraged,

And he declares, “In this tough age,

I want to execute all crooks like you!”

And in response, I caught this chap, -

I didn’t reason, simply stabbed, -

And I’ll continue to do just as I do.

You want to tell me what you think -

Come sit with me and we will drink, -

And every problem we’ll discuss and fix.

But if you come with his intent, -

One rule applies to every man

And it will always stay just as it is.
Vladimir Vysotsky
Read in English and Russian
+1

The spring is just beginning

The spring is just beginning

We haven’t started singing

My soul’s already jumping from my chest, --

And then they came to pester

With escorts, with escorts

And told me, “hurry up, get dressed!”

Oh how I begged the sergeant to re-think:

“Don’t take me away from the spring!”

Til May, with no progression--

They asked for my confession,

But I was stubborn! Forty days they’ve tried.

But then, my heart was pierced, --

My Katharine was seized

And the detective gained more rights than I.

I understood that I began to sink.

Just through the window, let me see the spring!

And once again, it’s starting,

In train cars, we’re departing

And rail junctions measure what’s ahead.

And in the light of day, --

Maples and birches sway

And all of them are begging “Don’t forget!”

The lads were waving, standing on the brink.

Why do they steal me away from the spring?

In asking Kathy I was very prudent:

“Let’s leave now?” –“We shouldn’t.”

“I’ve had it up to here! – this isn’t right!”

And so replied, my Kathy:

“You’ve had it, you’ve had it.”

We ran away through tundra in the night.

How warm was her embrace, oh just to think! –

So this is what you’re like, my lovely spring!

And only two days passed

Those bitches sensed our tracks, --

Like dogs, they sensed the path we’ve trod, --

Those bitches had no right

Our legs and arms were tied--

Like carrion they dragged us through the mud.

No longer will I ever dream a thing,

I’ve lost all ties to my beloved spring!
Vladimir Vysotsky
Read in English and Russian
+1

Not understanding one is scary

Not understanding one is scary –

to hug and not to understand –

and thought it seems a bit uncanny,

it’s just as scary, just as scary

to understand one to the end.

Thus both are hurtful, condescending.

And, wise to this, I’m now intending

not to afflict your soul anew

by either lacking understanding

or understanding all of you.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
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0

Here is what's happening

Here is what’s happening: you see,

My old time friend won’t visit me,

Instead, all frenzied and imprudent,

Come all the random ones who shouldn’t.

And he goes with the wrong ones too,

And understands this to be true,

Our discord cannot be explained,

Both, he and I, endure the pain.

Here is what’s happening: you see,

The wrong girl comes to visit me,

She strokes my shoulders in the night,

And steals me from the one who’s right.

And she – for God’s sake, tell me truly,

Whose shoulders is she to caress?

The one from whom I’m stolen surely

Will steal from vengeance in distress.

Perhaps, at first, she might refuse,

At odds with self and still resistant,

But, then, subconsciously, she’ll choose

Someone unfavorable and distant.

O, how many nervous and unheeded,

Unneeded ties, affairs unneeded!

I'm full of rabid reprehension!

O, someone come and break these roles, -

The distant peoples’ forced affection

And misconnections of the souls.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
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0

My legs are useless at the present

My legs are useless at the present,

May they become a fish’s tail!

I’m swimming, and the chill is pleasant,

The distant bridge is glowing pale.

I’ll give my passive soul away,

Let it be turned to smoke anew,

And light, above the gloomy quay,

It’ll change into a tender-blue.

Just look, how deeply I’ve retreated,

I’m diving - seaweed everywhere,

Nobody’s words will be repeated,

Nobody’s yearning will ensnare.

My distant, could it be, somehow,

Grief-stricken, you’ve become unsteady?

What do I hear? For three weeks now,

You only whisper: “why, poor lady!?”
Anna Akhmatova
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0

Strange boy, I’ve gone mad at last

Strange boy, I’ve gone mad at last,

Wednesday, around three!

On my ring finger, a wasp

Stung me angrily.

I accidentally squeezed my grip,

And it died, I think,

But sharper than a spindle’s tip

Was its poisoned sting.

Strange one, is it you I’ll mourn,

And will your smile linger?

Look! How beautifully adorned

Is this ring upon my finger!
Anna Akhmatova
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0

As with a straw, you drink

As with a straw, you drink the soul from me.

I know, its taste is bitter, strong and heady.

I won’t disturb this torment with a plea.

I’ve been at peace for many weeks already.

Say when you’re done. It isn’t sad at all,

At last, my soul has vanished from this earth.

I’ll take the short path for a quiet stroll

To see the children occupied in mirth.

The gooseberry is blossoming all over,

Behind the fence, they’re hauling bricks in tow.

Who can you be: my brother or my lover,

I can’t recall, and do not need to know.

How bright, and how unsheltered I'm already -

My body’s resting, nearly worn away,

The passersby are contemplating vaguely:

She must have turned a widow yesterday.
Anna Akhmatova
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0