Again, A Meeting

Again a meeting, noisy, dying,
half colloquium,
half co-lying.
Obedient hands
raised to vote,
is there no sob of sentiment
in your throat
when making
a charming deal
to dismember friends
on the wheel?
What kind of minority
honestly stands?
Only two hands,
only two hands.
A minority has courage,
the majority reeks.
They are not Bolsheviks,
just bullshitviks.
They are not soldiers
of revolutions.
Just soldiers
of resolutions.
You, my friends,
are silent with reason.
But cowardly silence
also is treason.
Oh, majority, majority,
creators and victims of fraud,
so many times you’ve
tortured, corrupted,
you have no right
to be our god.
The non-ruling minority
has no authority.
On so many cowards I see
an invisible life vest.
But how powerless is the dishonest assent
of the majority.
And how powerful is
minority’s honest protest.

1957
Translated by Albert C. Todd with the author

by Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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