Yevgeny Yevtushenko: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Yevgeny Yevtushenko (right) with Richard Nixon
Born July 18, 1933 (1933-07-18) (age 76)
Zima Junction, Siberia
Occupation poet, film director, teacher
Nationality Russian
Ethnicity Russian, Ukrainian, Tatar
Notable work(s) Babi Yar

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko (Russian: Евге́ний Алекса́ндрович Евтуше́нко) (also transliterated as Evgenii Alexandrovich Evtushenko, Yevgeniy Yevtushenko, or Evgeny Evtushenko) (born July 18, 1933) is a Soviet and Russian poet. He was also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.




Early life

He was born Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Gangnus (later he took his mother's last name, Yevtushenko) in the Irkutsk region of Siberia in a small town called Zima Junction[1][2][3] on 18 July, 1933 to a peasant family of mixed Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar heritage.[4] "His great-grandfather, Joseph Yevtushenko, a suspected subversive, was exiled to Siberia after the 1881 assassination of Emperor Alexander II. But he died on the way. Both of Mr. Yevtushenko's grandfathers were arrested under Stalin's purges as "enemies of the people" in 1937."[5] His maternal grandfather, named Ermolai Naumovich Evtushenko, had been a Red Army officer during the Russian Revolution and the Civil War. Yevtushenko's father, named Aleksandr Rudolfovich Gangnus, was a geologist, as was his mother, named Zinaida Ermolaevna Evtushenko, who later became a singer. The boy accompanied his father on geological expeditions to Kazakhstan in 1948, and to Altai, Siberia, in 1950. Young Yevtushenko wrote his first verses and humorous songs "chastushki" while living in Zima, Siberia. "His parents were divorced when [he] was 7 and he was raised by his mother."[5] "By age 10 he had cranked out his first poem. Six years later a sports journal was the first periodical to publish his poetry. At 19, he published his first book of poems, The Prospects of the Future."[5]

After the Second World War, Yevtushenko moved to Moscow. From 1951-1954 he studied at the Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow, from which he dropped out. He published his first poem in 1949 and his first book three years later. In 1952 he joined the Union of Soviet Writers after publication of his first collection of poetry. His early poem So mnoyu chto-to proiskhodit (Something is happening to me) became a very popular song, performed by actor-songwriter Aleksandr Dolsky. In 1955 Yevtushenko wrote a poem about the Soviet borders being an obstacle in his life. His first important publication was the poem Stantsiya Zima (Zima Junction 1956). In 1957, he was expelled from the Literary Institute for "individualism". He was banned from traveling, but gained wide popularity with the Russian public. His early work also drew praise from the likes of Boris Pasternak, Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost.[6], [7]

During the Khrushchev Thaw

Yevtushenko was one of the authors politically active during the Khrushchev Thaw (Khrushchev declared a cultural "Thaw" that allowed some freedom of expression). In 1961 he wrote what would become perhaps his most famous poem, Babi Yar, in which he denounced the Soviet distortion of historical fact regarding the Nazi massacre of the Jewish population of Kiev in September 1941, as well as the antisemitism still widespread in the Soviet Union. The usual Soviet policy in relation to the Holocaust in Russia was to describe it as atrocities against Soviet citizens, and to avoid mentioning that it was a genocide specifically of the Jews. Therefore, Yevtushenko's work Babi Yar was quite controversial and politically incorrect, "for it spoke not only of the Nazi atrocities, but the Soviet government's own persecution of Jewish people."[8] Following a centuries-old Russian tradition, Yevtushenko became a public poet. The poem achieved widespread circulation in the underground samizdat press, and later was set to music, together with four other Yevtushenko poems, by Dmitri Shostakovich in his Thirteenth Symphony, subtitled Babi Yar. Publication of the poem in the state-controlled Soviet press was delayed until 1984. Reportedly, the poem "was published abroad and appeared in clandestine fashion in the Soviet Union."[9] Alternatively, some note that the poem was published in a major newspaper "Literaturnaya Gazeta" [10] and achieved widespread circulation in numerous copies. Of Yevtushenko’s work, Shostakovich has said, “Morality is a sister of conscience. And perhaps God is with Yevtushenko when he speaks of conscience. Every morning, in place of prayers, I reread or repeat by memory two poems by Yevtushenko: ‘Career’ or ‘Boots.’”[6]

In 1961, Yevtushenko also published Nasledniki Stalina (The Heirs of Stalin), in which he stated that although Stalin was dead, Stalinism and its legacy still dominated the country; in the poem he also directly addressed the Soviet government, imploring them to make sure that Stalin would "never rise again". Published originally in Pravda, the poem was not republished until a quarter of a century later, in the times of the comparatively liberal party leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Yevtushenko became one of the best known poets of the 1950s and 1960s in the Soviet Union.[11] He was part of the 1960s generation, which included such writers as Vasili Aksyonov, Andrei Voznesensky, Bella Akhmadulina, Robert Rozhdestvensky; as well as actors Andrei Mironov, Aleksandr Zbruyev, Natalya Fateyeva, and many others. During the time, Anna Akhmatova, a number of whose family members suffered under the communist rule, criticised Yevtushenko's aesthetic ideals and his poetics. The late Russian poet Victor Krivulin quotes her saying that "Yevtushenko doesn't rise above an average newspaper satirist's level. Yevtushenko and Andrei Voznesensky's works just don't do it for me, therefore neither of them exists for me as a poet."[12]

Alternatively, Yevtushenko was much respected by others at the time both for his poetry and his political stance toward the Soviet government. "Dissident Pavel Litvinov had said that '[Yevtushenko] expressed what my generation felt. Then we left him behind.'"[5] In 1963 (until 1965), for example, Yevtushenko, already an internationally recognised littérateur, was banned from travelling outside the Soviet Union.[13]

Generally, however, Yevtushenko was still the most extensively travelled Soviet poet, possessing an amazing capability to balance between moderate criticism of Soviet regime, which gained him popularity in the West, and, as noted by some, a strong Marxist-Leninist ideological stance,[5] which allegedly proved his loyalty to Soviet authorities.[citation needed]

At that time the KGB Chairman Vladimir Semichastny and the next KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov reported to the Communist Politburo on the "Anti-Soviet activity of poet Yevtushenko." Nevertheless, some nicknamed Yevtushenko "Zhenya Gapon," comparing him to Father George Gapon[14], a Russian priest who at the time of the Revolution of 1905 was both a leader of rebellious workers and a secret police agent.


In 1965, Yevtushenko joined Anna Akhmatova, Kornei Chukovsky, Jean-Paul Sartre and others and co-signed the letter of protest against the unfair trial of Joseph Brodsky (a fellow poet influenced by Anna Akhmatova) as a result of the court case against him initiated by the Soviet authorities.[15] He subsequently co-signed a letter against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Nevertheless, "when, in 1987, Yevtushenko was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Brodsky himself led a flurry of protest, accusing Yevtushenko of duplicity and claiming that Yevtushenko's criticism of the Soviet Union was launched only in the directions approved by the Party and that he criticised what was acceptable to the Kremlin, when it was acceptable to the Kremlin, while soaking up adulation and honours as a fearless voice of dissent."[13] Further, of note is "Yevtushenko's protest of the trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel, an event now credited with inaugurating the modern dissident movement and readying the national pulse for perestroika. Both writers had toiled under pseudonyms and stood accused, in 1966, of "anti-Soviet activity" for the views espoused by their fictional characters. But Yevtushenko's actual position was that the writers were guilty, only punished too severely."[16] "Yevtushenko was not among the authors of the "Letter of the 63" who protested [their convictions]."[5]

Moreover, "when Yevtushenko was nominated for the poetry chair at Oxford in 1968, Amis, Bernard Levin, and the Russian-Hungarian historian Tibor Szamuely led the campaign against him, arguing that he had made life difficult for his fellow Soviet writers."[16]


He was filmed as himself during the 1950s as a performing poet-actor. Yevtushenko contributed lyrics to several Soviet films and contributed to the script of Soy Cuba (1964), a Soviet propaganda film. His acting career began with the leading role in Vzlyot (1979) by director Savva Kulish, where he played the leading role as Russian rocket scientist Tsiolkovsky. Yevtushenko also made two films as a writer/director. His film 'Detsky Sad' ('Kindergarten', 1983) and his last film, 'Pokhorony Stalina' ('Stalin's Funerals', 1990) deal with life in the Soviet Union.

Post-Soviet period

In 1989 Yevtushenko was elected as a representative in the Soviet Parliament (Congress of Peoples Deputies), where he was a member of the pro-democratic group supporting Mikhail Gorbachev and "represent[ed] the little-known Ukrainian city of Kharkov."[5] In 1991, he supported Boris Yeltsin, as the latter defended the parliament of the Russian Federation during the hardline coup that sought to oust Gorbachev and reverse "perestroika".[9], [7] Later, however, when Yeltsin sent tanks into restive Chechnya, Yevtushenko reportedly "denounced his old ally and refused to accept an award from him."[9]

In the post-Soviet era Yevtushenko actively discussed environmental issues, confronted Russian Nationalist writers from the alternative Union of the Writers of Russia, and campaigned for the preservation of the memory of victims of Stalin's Gulag. In 1995 he published his huge anthology of contemporary Russian poetry entitled Verses of the Century.[17] Reviewing this anthology, Russian poet Alexey Purin referred to it as "a huge book, a huge flop. Really, a collection of names rather than a collection of good poetry."[18] Purin (himself a traditionalist)[citation needed] mentioned that Yevtushenko included only mainstream poetry written according to "good old canons"[citation needed], and totally ignored nearly all of the avant-garde authors[citation needed], notably Gennady Aigi, Vladimir Earle and Rea Nikonova. More recently, Yevtushenko has been criticised for refusing to speak out against Russian President Vladimir Putin's liberties during his presidency. Yevtushenko responded by saying that "Putin, like Russia, is struggling to find his way in a time when ideals have been shattered and expedience reigns."[9]

Yevtushenko in the West

Yevtushenko, who now (October, 2007) divides his time between Russia and the United States, teaches Russian and European poetry and the history of world cinema at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and at Queens College of the City University of New York. In the West he is best known for his criticism of the Soviet bureaucracy and appeals for getting rid of the legacy of Stalin. He is now working on a three-volume collection of Russian poetry from the 11th-20th century, and plans a novel based on his time in Havana during the Cuban Missile Crisis (he was, reportedly, good friends with Che, Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda).[9], [7], [6]. In October 2007 he was an artist-in-residence with the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park, and recited his poem Babi Yar before a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13, which sets five of his poems, by the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the men of the UM Choirs, with David Brundage as the bass soloist. A similar performance with Yevtushenko present took place at the University of Houston's Moore's School of Music in 1997. In addition to the Babi Yar symphony, Shostakovich's Execution of Stephan Razin (another text setting by Yevtushenko) was also performed.

Personal life

Yevtushenko is allegedly known for his many liaisons.[9] Yevtushenko has been married four times: in 1954 he married Bella Akhmadulina, who published her first collection of lyrics in 1962. After divorce he married Galina Semenova. Yevtushenko's third wife was Jan Butler (married in 1978) (an English translator of his poetry with whom he visited Ireland several times), and fourth Maria Novika (married in 1986).[19] He has five children, all boys.[9] His current wife teaches Russian at Edison Preparatory School in the United States, near the University of Tulsa, where Yevtushenko himself spends half the year, lecturing on poetry and European cinema.[9]


In 1962, Yevtushenko was featured on the cover of Time magazine. In 1993, Yevtushenko received a medal as 'Defender of Free Russia,' which was given to those who took part in resisting the hard-line Communist coup in August 1991. In July 2000 the Russian Academy of Sciences named a star in his honor. In 2001, his childhood home in Zima Junction, Siberia, was restored and opened as a permanent museum of poetry.[7] Yevtushenko received in 1991 the American Liberties Medallion, the highest honor conferred by the American Jewish Committee.[20] Laureate Of The International Botev Prize, 2006.


"Yevtushenko's politics have always been a complicated mixture of bravery, populism, and vulgar accommodation with dictatorship."[16] Judith Colp of The Washington Times, for example, described Yevtushenko as "his country's most controversial modern poet, a man whose reputation is poised between courageous behind-the-scenes reformer and failed dissident."[5] Indeed, "as the Sovietologist and literary critic Robert Conquest put it in a 1974 profile: 'The writers who had briefly flourished [under Khrushchev's thaw] went two different ways. Solzhenitsyn and his like into silenced opposition; Yevtushenko and his like, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes in the hope of still influencing matters a little, into well-rewarded collaboration.'"[16] Some argue that before the appearance of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and the dissident movement in Russia, Yevtushenko, through his poetry, was the first voice to speak out against Stalinism[8] (although Boris Pasternak is often considered "to have helped give birth to the dissident movement with the publication of his 'Doctor Zhivago'"[5]). Colp adds: "Sovietologist Stephen Cohen of Princeton University contends that Yevtushenko was among those Soviets who didn't become dissidents but in their own way tried to improve conditions and prepare the way for reform, [saying that] 'They exhibited a kind of civic courage that many Americans didn't recognize.'"[5] Kevin O'Connor, in his Intellectuals and Apparatchiks, noted that Yevtushenko was "a popular liberal who never experienced the sort of intimidation that characterized regime's treatment of dissident writers Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Vladimir Voinovich (each of whom was forced to leave the USSR)."[21]

Brodsky repeatedly criticised Yevtushenko for what he perceived as his "conformism", especially after the latter was made member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.[9][22] Commenting on this controversy in A Night in the Nabokov Hotel, an anthology of Russian poetry in English translation, Anatoly Kudryavitsky wrote the following: "A few Russian poets enjoyed the virtual pop-star status, unthinkable if transposed to other parts of Europe. In reality, they were far from any sort of protest against Soviet totalitarianism and therefore could not be regarded as anything else but naughty children of the regime."[23] Furthermore, some criticized Yevtushenko regarding Pasternak's widow, given that "when Pasternak's widow, Olga Ivinskaya, was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of illegally dealing in foreign currency, Yevtushenko publicly maligned her [and added] that 'Doctor Zhivago' was not worth publishing in the Soviet Union."[5]

Moreover, "the poet Irina Ratushinskaya, upon her release from prison and arrival in the West, dismissed Yevtushenko as an official poet and Vasily Aksionov, the novelist who now lives in Washington, has also refused contact [with Yevtushenko]."[24] Responding to the criticism, Yevtushenko reportedly said

Who could sanction me to write Babi Yar, or my protests against the (1968 Soviet) invasion of Czechoslovakia? Only I criticised Khrushchev to his face; not even Solzhenitsyn did that. It is only the envy of people who couldn't stand against the propaganda machine, and they invented things about my generation, the artists of the '60s. Our generation was breaking the Iron Curtain. It was a generation crippled by history, and most of our dreams were doomed to be unfulfilled - but the fight for freedom was not in vain.[9]

Yevtushenko further notes that "in several cases [he] personally rose to the defense of these writers, interceding privately for Ratushinskaya's release from a prison, defending Mr. Aksionov and others who were expelled from the Writers Union."[24]

Critics differ on the stature of Yevtushenko in the literature world, with "most Western intellectuals and many Russian scholars extol[ing] him as the greatest writer of his generation, the voice of Soviet life."[25] They "acknowledge that his speaking tours have won him converts among audiences impressed with his dramatic readings and charismatic personality. Tina Tupikina Glaessner (1967) refers to him as “one of the greatest poets of the modern age.” She states that “Bratsk Station” offers the greatest insight into Soviet life of any other work in modern Russian literature. Two decades later, in his 1988 article, Michael Pursglove echoes her sentiments referring to Stantisiya Zima as “one of the landmarks of Soviet literature."[25]

Others, however, notably Russian critics like "Patricia Pollock Brodsky (1992) takes issue with the interpretation that Yevtushenko has been persecuted by the Russian government."[25] "And most scathing, Tomas Venclova asserts, in his 1991 essay, that few in the Russian literary community “consider his work worthy of serious study."[25] Furthermore, when in 1972, Yevtushekno criticized U.S.'s government, "Allen Tate called him a 'ham actor, not a poet,' and others not unsympathetic to criticisms of Washington found his frequent condemnations of American 'imperialism,' and comparatively footling criticisms of the Russian police state, thoroughly repulsive."[16]


  • TRETI SNEG, 1955
  • 'Stantsiia Zima', 1956 - Winter Station (tr. Oliver J. Frederiksen, 1964) / 'Zima Junction' (in Selected Poems, tr. by Peter Levi and R.R. Milner-Gulland, 1962)
  • LUK I LIRA, 1959
  • IABLOKO, 1960
  • Red Cats, 1961
  • BABY YAR, 1961 - Babiy Yar (in Selected Poems, tr. by Peter Levi and R.R. Milner-Gulland, 1962) / Babi Yar (tr. 1968) - 'Babi Jar' (suom. Markku Lahtela Lahtela, teoksessa Olen vaiti ja huudan, 1963) translation: The Milky Way by D. Ulzytuev, 1961 translation: A Network of Stars by T. Chiladze, 1961 translation: Don't Fall to Your Knees! by G. Dzagorov, 1961
  • VZMACH RUKI, 1962
  • Selected Poems, 1962 (tr. by Peter Levi and R.R. Milner-Gulland)
  • NASLEDNIKI STALINA, 1963 - 'The Heirs of Stalin' (in Current Digest of the Soviet Press, 1962)
  • AUTOBIOGRAFIA, 1963 - A Precocious Autobiography (tr. by Andrew R. MacAndrew, 1963)
  • Selected Poetry, 1963 (ed. R.R. Milner-Gulland)
  • Soy Cuba, 1964 (screenplay with Enrique Pineda Barbet, film dir. by Mikhail Kalatozov)
  • The Poetry of Yevgeny Yevtusenko, 1964 (tr. by George Reavey, as Early Poems, 1989)
  • BRATSKAYA GES, 1965 - 'The Bratsk Station,' in Bratsk Station and Other New Poems (tr. by Tina Tupikina-Glaessner, Geoffrey *Dutton, Igor Mezhakoff-Koriakin, 1967)
  • Poems, 1966 (tr. Herbert Marshall)
  • Yevtusenko Poems, 1966 (tr. Herbert Marshall)
  • Yevtusenko's Reader: The Spirit of Elbe, A Precocious Autobiography, Poems, 1966
  • KATER ZVIAZI, 1966
  • KACHKA, 1966
  • The Execution of Stepan Razin, op. 119, 1966 (score by Dmitri Shostakovich, 1966
  • Poems Chosen by the Author, 1966 (tr. by Peter Levi and Robin Milner-Gulland)
  • The City of the Yes and the City of the No and Other Poems, 1966 (tr. by Tina Tupikina-Glaessner, Geoffrey Dutton, Igor Mezhakoff-Koriakin) - Kyllä ja Ei (trans. by Erkki Peuranen)
  • New Works: The Bratsk Station, 1966 (tr. by Tina Tupikina-Glaessner, Geoffrey Dutton, Igor Mezhakoff-Koriakin, as Bratsk Station and Other New Poems, 1967)
  • STIKHI, 1967
  • New Poems, 1968
  • Flowers and Bullets, and Freedom to Kill, 1970
  • KAZANSKII UNIVERSITET, 1971 - Kazan University and Other New Poems (tr. by Eleanor Jacka and Geoffrey Dutton
  • Stolen Apples, 1972 (translated by James Dickey et al.)
  • Under the Skin of the Statue of Liberty, 1982 (play)
  • PROSEKA, 1976
  • SPASIBO, 1976
  • From Desire to Desire, 1976 (G.B. title: Love Poems, 1977)
  • V POLNYI ROST, 1977
  • ZAKLINANIE, 1977
  • The Face Behind the Face, 1979 (tr. by Arthur Boyars and Simon Franklin)
  • Ivan the Terrible and Ivan the Fool, 1979 (tr. Daniel Weissbort) translation: Heavy Earth, 1979
  • TOCHKA OPORY, 1980
  • TRET'IA OAMIAT', 1980
  • ARDABIOLA, 1981 - Ardabiola (tr. by Armorer Wason) - Ardabiola (suom. Ulla-Liisa Heino, 1984)
  • YAGODNYYE MESTA, 1981 - Wild Berries (tr. by Antonina W. Bouis, 1984) - Mansikkamaat (suom. Ulla-Liisa Heino, 1982)
  • Invisible Threads, 1981 (tr. by Paul Falla and Natasha Ward) - Näkymägttömät langat (suom. Pentti Saaritsa, 1982)
  • IA SIBIRIAK, 1981
  • A Dove in Santiago, 1982 (tr. by D.M. Thomas)
  • DVE PARY LYZH, 1982
  • BELYE SNEGI, 1982
  • SOBRANIE SOCHINENII, 1983-84 (3 vols.)
  • KINDERGARTEN, 1984 (screenplay)
  • FUKU, 1985 - Fuku: runoelma (suom. Ulla-Liisa Heino, Ilpo Tiihonen, 1986)
  • POCHTI NAPOSLEDOK, 1985 - Almost at the End (tr. by Antonina W. Bouis, Albert C. Todd, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, 1987)
  • DVA GORODA, 1985
  • MORE, 1985
  • STIKHI, 1986
  • STIKHOTVORENIIA I POEMY 1951-1986, 1987 (3 vols.)
  • NEZHNOST, 1988
  • Divided Twins: Alaska and Siberia - Razdel'ennye bliznetsy, 1988 (tr. by Antonina W. Bouis)
  • POEMY O MIRE, 1989
  • DETSKII SAD MOSCOW, 1989 (screenplay)
  • STIKHI, 1989
  • LIUBIMAIA, SPI..., 1989
  • DETSKII SAD, 1989
  • Fatal Half Measures, 1991
  • The Collected Poems 1952-1990, 1991 (ed. by Albert C. Todd)
  • NE UMIRAI PREZHDE SMERTI, 1993 - Don't Die Before You're Dead (tr. by Antonina W. Bouis)
  • PRE-MORNING. PREDUTRO, 1995 (bilingual edition)
  • The Best of the Best: a New Book of Poetry in English and Russian, 1999
  • Walk on the Ledge: a New Book of Poetry in English and Russian , 2005


  1. ^
  2. ^ Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature By Jean Albert Bédé, William Benbow Edgerton. Pg. 886.
  3. ^ Touch of the poet. JAMES D. WATTS JR. Tulsa World (Oklahoma). LIVING; Etc.; Pg. D1. April 27, 2003.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Yevtushenko: The story of a superstar poet. Judith Colp. The Washington Times. Part E; LIFE; Pg. E1. January 3, 1991.
  6. ^ a b c QUEENS COLLEGE PRESENTS AN EVENING OF POETRY AND MUSIC WITH YEVGENY YEVTUSHENKO ON DECEMBER 11. Queens College Office of Communications website. November 18, 2003. Last visited Jan. 10, 2009
  7. ^ a b c d Famed Russian Poet Yevtushenko to Perform and Sign Books at TU on April 28. The University of Tulsa News/Events/Publications. 3/28/03. Last visited Jan. 10, 2009.
  8. ^ a b RENOWNED POET TO VISIT CITY. DONALD W. PATTERSON. News & Record (Greensboro, NC). CITY LIFE, Pg. 3. April 8, 1999.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j West awakes to Yevtushenko: One of the greatest poets alive will perform at the Galway Arts Festival, but he is not without his critics. Daniel McLaughlin. The Irish Times.CITY EDITION; WEEKEND; Pg. 56. July 17, 2004.
  10. ^ Literaturnaya Gazeta, September 19, 1961.
  11. ^ TU poet marks massacre day. Julie Bisbee. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK). NEWS; Pg. 19A. September 29, 2006.
  12. ^ Russian language website news article -; Interview with Krivulin, Victor. Recollections about Akhmatova. July 14, 1995(Кривулин В.Б. "Воспоминания об Анне Ахматовой". Беседа с О.Е. Рубинчик. 14 июля 1995)
  13. ^ a b A Demanding Kind of Genius. Irish Independent. May 8, 2004
  14. ^ МЫ, Я И ЕВТУШЕНКО by Stanislav Rassadin, Novaya Gazeta 2 October 2000 (Russian)
  15. ^ Timelessness: Water Frees Time from Time Itself. Natalia Zhdanova. 1st August 07. Neva News (St. PETERSBURG FIRST MONTHLY ENGLISH NEWSPAPER). Last visited Jan. 11, 2009.
  16. ^ a b c d e A Citizen of Human Grief. MICHAEL WEISS. The New York Sun. ARTS AND LETTERS; Pg. 14. February 11, 2008.
  17. ^ Строфы века. Антология русской поэзии (Verses of the Century, 1995) Edited by Yvgeny Yevtushenko
  18. ^ Russian language website - - with Purin's commentary.
  19. ^
  21. ^ Intellectuals and Apparatchiks By Kevin O'Connor. p.89. Lexington Books (September 28, 2008). 0739131222
  22. ^ Dovlatov, S. And then Brodsky said... Graph, Issue 3.3, 1999, p.10.
  23. ^ Kudryavitsky, A. Introduction. In A Night in the Nabokov Hotel. 20 Contemporary Poets from Russia Edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Dublin, Dedalus Press 2006) (Online
  24. ^ a b For Yevtushenko, a Search for a Little Respect. CELESTINE BOHLEN. The New York Times. Section 1; Part 1, Page 16, Column 3; Foreign Desk November 20, 1988.
  25. ^ a b c d "Yevtushenko, Yevgeny: Introduction." Poetry Criticism. Ed. David Galens. Vol. 40. Gale Cengage, 2002. 2006. 11 Jan, 2009 <[1]>


Further reading

  • Henry Holt, "The Collected Poems 1952-1990."
  • "Yevtushenko, Yevgeny: Introduction." Poetry Criticism. Ed. David Galens. Vol. 40. Gale Cengage, 2002. 2006. 11 Jan, 2009 <[2]>
  • Soviet Russian Literature: Writers and Problems by M. Slonim (1967);
  • 'The Politics of Poetry: The Sad Case of Yevgeny Yevtushenko' by Robert Conquest, in New York Times Magazine (30 September, 1973);
  • Soviet Russian Literature Since Stalin by Deming Brown (1978);
  • Evgenii Evtushenko by E. Sidorov (1987);
  • Soviet Literature in the 1980s by N.N. Shneidman (1989);
  • Reference Guide to Russian Literature, ed. by Neil Cornwell (1998)

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko (born 1933-07-18) is a controversial Russian poet and film director. During the Soviet era he spoke out publicly against Stalinism and rejected socialist realism, but was himself criticised by many Soviet dissidents.


  • The hell with it. Who never knew
    the price of happiness will not be happy.
    • "Lies" (1952), line 11; Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (trans.) Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2008) p. 52.
  • So on and on
    we walked without thinking of rest
    passing craters, passing fire,
    under the rocking sky of '41
    tottering crazy on its smoking columns.
    • "The Companion" (1954), line 45; Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (trans.) Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2008) p. 58.
  • Give me a mystery – just a plain and simple one – a mystery which is diffidence and silence, a slim little, barefoot mystery: give me a mystery – just one!
    • "Mysteries" (1960), st. 10; Dimitri Obolensky (ed.) The Heritage of Russian Verse (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976) p. 452.
  • Over Babiy Yar
    there are no memorials.
    The steep hillside like a rough inscription.
    I am frightened.
    Today I am as old as the Jewish race.
    • "Babiy Yar" (1961), line 1; Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (trans.) Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2008) p. 82.
  • No Jewish blood runs among my blood,
    but I am as bitterly and hardly hated
    by every anti-semite
    as if I were a Jew. By this
    I am a Russian.
    • "Babiy Yar" (1961), line 58; Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (trans.) Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2008) pp. 83-4.
  • No people are uninteresting.
    Their fate is like the chronicle of planets.
    Nothing in them is not particular,
    and planet is dissimilar from planet.
    • "People" (1961), line 1; Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (trans.) Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2008) p. 85.
  • In any man who dies there dies with him,
    his first snow and kiss and fight.
    • "People" (1961), line 12; Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (trans.) Selected Poems (London: Penguin, 2008) p. 85.
  • A poet's autobiography is his poetry. Anything else can be only a footnote.
    • Andrew R. MacAndrew (trans.) A Precocious Autobiography (1963; repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965) p. 7.
  • In general, in poetry and literature, I am among those people who believe that too much is indispensable.
  • [I] do not like poems that resemble hay compressed into a geometrically perfect cube. I like it when the hay, unkempt, uncombed, with dry berries mixed in it, thrown together gaily and freely, bounces along atop some truck—and more, if there are some lovely and healthy lasses atop the hay—and better yet if the branches catch at the hay, and some of it tumbles to the road.
  • Why is it that right-wing bastards always stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity, while liberals fall out among themselves?


  • My dear friend Yevtushenko has, I claim, an ego that can crack crystal at a distance of twenty feet.
    • John Cheever, in George Plimpton (ed.) Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, Fifth Series (New York: Penguin, 1981) p. 121.
  • He has a clear style and has had much courage – as in his poem "Babi Yar", a memorial to the Jews murdered by the Nazis. But he is no more than a talented poetaster – which is quite obvious to all but Western journalists – and it would be foolish to consider him as more than a skilful publicist.
  • I was overjoyed when I read Yevtushenko's "Babi Yar"; the poem astounded me. It astounded thousands of people…People knew about Babi Yar before Yevtushenko's poem, but they were silent. And when they read the poem, the silence was broken. Art destroys silence.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address