Once people get under my skin,
they never find the exit.
They romp around,
fill my insides with their song and dance,
make lots of noise, using my dumbness as their cover-up.
I’m full to bursting with wise men
and fools- they’ve utterly exhausted me!
So much so that my skin’s
quite worn through
by their heels, rubbing from inside!
Give me a chance to breathe!
It’s all impossible!
I’m stuffed to the gills
with those who’ve brought me so much joy
as well as those who’ve given most offence.
What has come over me?
What can I do with this great throng
stuck in my own small heart-
police are needed to keep order there!
I’ve gone a little cracked,
for there, in that secluded shade,
I’ve dropped none of the women
and none of them’s dropped me!
It’s awkward to revive dead friendships
however much you tire yourself with trying.
The only friends I’ve lost
were on the outside,
but of those inside I’ve lost nobody.
All the people in my life I’ve quarreled with,
or made friends with,
or only shaken hands with,
have merged in a new life under the old one’s skin-
a secret conflagration without flame.
The repossession of the unpossessable
is like a waterfall that rushes upward.
Those who have died
have been born again in me,
those who have not been born as yet
My population is too large,
beyond the strength of just one man-
but then, a person would be incomplete
if he contained no others.
Translated by Arthur Boyars and Simon Franklin
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Once People by Yevgeny Yevtushenko )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(26 July 1875 – 22 February 1939)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
Poem of the Day
- what the black cat said to the misty flu.., cristobal Benjumea
- Cold, Mike Acker
- Silence is not peace, ramesh rai
- Honey its your last chance, cristobal Benjumea
- Related, gajanan mishra
- Best day, Diplove gautam
- Thankful For You KP, Michael P. McParland
- Ten Dozen Red Roses, Michael P. McParland
- Eyes of Genesis, Merton Lee
- Haiku Concert At Day Break, Dorothy (Alves) Holmes