Treasure Island

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

(18 July 1933 / Zima Junction, Siberia)

Irony


The twentieth century has often fooled us.
We've been squeezed in by falsehood as by taxes.
The breath of life has denuded our ideas
as quickly as it strips a dandelion.

As boys fall back on biting sarcasm,
so we rely for safe defense
on an irony not too suppressed,
not too naked either.

It has served as a wall or dam
to shield us against a flood of lies,
and hands have laughed as they applauded,
and feet sniggered as they marched.

They could write about us, and we've allowed
them to make movies of this scribbled trash,
but we have reserved the right
to treat all this with quiet irony.

In our contempt we felt superior.
All this is so, but probing deeper,
irony, instead of acting as our savior,
you have become our murderer.

We're cautious, hypocritical in love.
Our friendships are lukewarm, not brave,
and our present seems no different from
our past, so cunningly disguised.

Through life we scurry. In history,
like any Faust, we've been prejudged.
With Mephistophelian smile, irony,
like a shadow, dogs our every step.

In vain we try to dodge the shadow.
The paths in front, behind, are blocked.
Irony, to you we've sold our soul,
receiving no Margaret in return.

You have buried us alive.
Bitter knowledge has made us powerless,
and our weary irony ironically
has turned against ourselves.


1961
Translated by George Reavey (revised)

Submitted: Saturday, August 18, 2007
Edited: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Irony by Yevgeny Yevtushenko )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou

PoemHunter.com Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Helen Hunt Jackson

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]