Vladimir Vysotsky To poets (English subtitles)

Whoever’s life ends tragically, that’s a real poet! And even if your time is fixed, at least it’s to the full, At number 26 one stepped in front of a pistol Another slipped into a noose in Angleterre. And at 33 they gave Christ (He was a a poet, he said: “Thou shalt not kill.” Kill, and I’ll find you anywhere, he said) But, nails went into his hands, so he didn’t get up to anything So he didn’t write and thought less. At the number 37, the tipsiness flies off me in a trice, Now it’s just like a cold wind has blown, At this number Pushkin predicted a duel for himself And Mayakovsky laid his temple on a barrel Let’s stick with the number 37. Insidious God Put the question point-blank: you’re either – or. On this side of line passed Byron and Rimbeau, Contemporary writers seem to have jumped across somehow. The duel didn’t take place, or has been postponed, And at 33 they crucified them, but not too hard, And in 37 – not blood, what blood was there? and even grey hair Soiled the temples not lavishly. I dare you to shoot yourself. Has your heart long since gone to your boots? Patience, psycopaths and rabble rousers! Poets are walking back on heels along a knifeblade And are cutting till they bleed their barefoot souls In the word ‘long-necked’ there were 3 ‘e’s at the end Keep the poet quiet – it’s an obvious conclusion And knife him – but he’s happy to hang on the blade Killed because he was dangerous I pity you, believers in fatal dates and numbers! You suffer like kidnapped girls in a harem: Life has got longer, and, perhaps Poets’ time has been put off for a while!

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