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A BALLAD (THESIS FOR A DOCTORS DEGREE)

Written by: Andrei Voznesensky | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 My doc announced yesterday : 
 "You may have talent, though it's hidden, 
 your beak, however, is frost-bitten, 
 so stick at home on a cold day". 

 The nose, eh? 

 As irretrievable as time, 
 conforming to the laws of medicine, 
 your nose, like that of any person, 
 keep growing 
 steadily, 
 with triumph! 

 The noses of celebrities, 
 of guards 
 and ministers of ours 
 grow, snoring restlessly like owls 
 at night, along with plants and trees. 

 They're cool and crooked, resembling bills, 
 they're squeezed in doors, 
 get hurt by boxers, 
 however, our neighbour's noses 
 screw into keyholes, just like drills! 

 (Great Gogol felt by intuition 
 the role they play in man's ambition.) 
 My friend Bukashkin who was boozy 
 dreamed of a nose 
 that grew like crazy: 
 above him, coming like a bore, 
 upsetting pans and chandeliers, 
 a nose 
 was piercing 
 the ceilings 
 and threading 
 floor upon the floor! 

 "What's that? -- he thought, when out of bed. 
 "A sign of Judgement Day -- I said -- 
 And the inspection of the debtors!" 

 He was imprisoned on the 30th. 

 Perpetual motion of the nose! 
 It's long, while life is getting shorter. 
 At night on faces, pale as blotter, 
 like a black hawk, or pumping hose, 
 the nose absorbs us, I suppose. 

 They say, the Northern Eskimos 
 kiss one another with the nose 

 It hasn't caught on here, of course.

© Copyright Alec Vagapov's translation



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