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Breaking Up -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Guest poem submittedy by Vivek Nallur :
(Poem #1532) Breaking Up
 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.

 The puppy is puzzled. Our furry small monster
 can't decide why we complicate simple things so --
 he whines at your door and I let him enter,
 when he scratches at my door, you always go.

 Dog, sentimental dog, you'll surely go crazy,
 running from one to the other like this --
 too young to conceive of an ancient idea:
 it's ended, done with, over, kaput. Finis.

 Get sentimental and we end up by playing
 the old melodrama, "Salvation of Love."
 "Forgiveness," we whisper, and hope for an echo;
 but nothing returns from the silence above.

 Better save love at the very beginning,
 avoiding all passionate "nevers," "forevers;"
 we ought to have heard what the train wheels were shouting,
 "Do not make promises!" Promises are levers.

 We should have made note of the broken branches,
 we should have looked up at the smokey sky,
 warning the witless pretensions of lovers --
 the greater the hope is, the greater the lie.

 True kindness in love means staying quite sober,
 weighing each link of the chain you must bear.
 Don't promise her heaven -- suggest half an acre;
 not "unto death," but at least to next year.

 And don't keep declaring, "I love you, I love you."
 That little phrase leads a durable life --
 when remembered again in some loveless hereafter,
 it can sting like a hornet or stab like a knife.

 So -- our little dog in all his confusion
 turns and returns from door to door.
 I won't say "forgive me" because I have left you;
 I ask pardon for one thing: I loved you before.
-- Yevgeny Yevtushenko
The thing that I like most about Yevtushenko is the absence of drama and
metaphor. He's direct and yet not too harsh. Nevertheless, this has never
taken away from his poems, only added charm. A few words, a simple rhyming
scheme and a tale told with sagacity. This one on 'breakup' for instance is
as poignant as Mayakovsky and yet is somehow gentler. No doubt, a breakup is
tumultous and passionate, but it is also a time for reflection.

An archive of his poetry can be found at
        http://lightning.prohosting.com/~zhenka/poemarchive.html

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