Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Rookie (18 July 1933 / Zima Junction, Siberia)

Don't Disappear - Poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Don't disappear.... By disappearing from me,
you will disappear from yourself,
betraying your own self forever,
and that will be the basest dishonesty.

Don't disappear.... To disappear is so easy.
It's impossible to resurrect one another.
Death drags down too deep.
Death even for a moment is too long.

Don't disappear.... Forget the third shadow.
In love there are only two. There are no thirds.
We both will be pure on Judgment Day,
when the trumpets call us to account.

Don't disappear.... We have redeemed sin.
We both are free of the law, we are sinless.
We are worthy together of the forgiveness of those
whom we have unintentionally wounded.

Don't disappear.... One can disappear in an instant,
but how could we meet later in the centuries ahead?
Is your double possible in the world,
and my double? Only barely in our children.

Don't disappear.... Give me your palm.
I am written on it-this I believe.
What makes one's last love terrible
is that it is not love, but fear of loss.

Translated by Antonina W. Bouis, Albert C. Todd and Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Comments about Don't Disappear by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

  • Kevin Patrick (2/15/2016 10:23:00 PM)

    I see a slightly different interpretation from Susan Williams (though a good cultural analysis of the era of the writer) , I see this on a personal level I think its about love or at least the vestiges of love decaying to its natural conclusion, the writer is trying to hold on that which is slipping away, and he is trying his best to keep it from disappearing. Or at-least that's what I see it as. Its still a wonderful work, that I am sure is even greater in the original dialect. (Report)Reply

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  • Susan Williams (2/15/2016 4:47:00 PM)

    Don't disappear- poets living in Russia at that time had reason to fear they might disappear. There was the unspoken knowledge of concentration camps under the Stalinist regime... I can just imagine small circles of friends meeting behind closed doors speaking in whispers listening to noises beyond the closed doors. The poets sensed the truth, probed the truth, feared the truth, and feared strangers among them, wouldn't you? (Report)Reply

    14 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis (2/15/2016 3:53:00 AM)

    Yes, fear of loss. Nice piece of work. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 17, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, February 9, 2016

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