Tsars, Kings, Emperors,
sovereigns of all the earth,
have commanded many a parade,
but they could not command humor.
When your face came rising
above my crumpled life,
the only thing I understood at first
was how meager were all my possessions.
I fell out of love: that’s our story’s dull ending,
as flat as life is, as dull as the grave.
Excuse me-I’ll break off the string of this love song
and smash the guitar. We have nothing to save.
We had slaughtered a hundred white whales,
civilization was quite forgotten,
Something dangerous is beginning:
I am coming late to my own self.
I made an appointment with my thoughts-
the thoughts were snatched from me.
Don't disappear.... By disappearing from me,
you will disappear from yourself,
betraying your own self forever,
and that will be the basest dishonesty.
No people are uninteresting.
Their fate is like the chronicle of planets.
Nothing in them in not particular,
Elbowing our way, we run.
Someone is being beaten up in the market.
You wouldn’t want to miss it!
We pick up speed, racing to the uproar,
'You have courage, ' they tell me.
It's not true. I was never courageous.
I simply felt it unbecoming
to stoop to the cowardice of my colleagues.