Irony Poems - Poems For Irony

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Irony - Poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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)

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Irony Poems
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  2. 2. Irony
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  3. 3. Irony
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  4. 4. The Slavery Of Irony
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  5. 5. 0368 Post-Modern Irony
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  7. 7. Destiny's Irony
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  8. 8. The Irony Of Despair
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  9. 9. Irony Of Fate
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  10. 10. Irony Of The Silvery Years
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  12. 12. Irony Of Life
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  14. 14. Irony
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  15. 15. Irony Of A Man
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  16. 16. Irony Of The World.
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  18. 18. Irony Of Civilization
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  19. 19. Loneliness: My Life's Cruelest Irony
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  31. 31. An Irony
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  34. 34. Irony (Senryu)
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  36. 36. Irony (10w)
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  37. 37. Irony Of Things
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  38. 38. The Irony
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  39. 39. A Big Irony!
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Irony Poems

  1. Irony

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  2. 0368 Post-Modern Irony

    With all the excitement of a Florentine writer around 1480 who's just heard about the new invention of printing and has plans to use it bigtime I'm sitting here at the PC, one of the first generation of mature writers who can bring to a lifetime's experience the web's recall of every great and relevant word recorded since the beginning of recorded time and thus pigmies on the shoulders of giants and what happens the excitement's gone to my

  3. Irony

    An arid daylight shines along the beach Dried to a grey monotony of tone, And stranded jelly-fish melt soft upon The sun-baked pebbles, far beyond their reach Sparkles a wet, reviving sea. Here bleach The skeletons of fishes, every bone Polished and stark, like traceries of stone, The joints and knuckles hardened each to each. And they are dead while waiting for the sea, The moon-pursuing sea, to come again. Their hearts are blown away on the hot breeze. Only the shells and stones can wait to be Washed bright. For living things, who suffer pain, May not endure till time can bring them ease.

  4. The Slavery Of Irony

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