“We can’t stand…” by Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Ha!, I say. Ha! The world needs more Yevtushenkos.
“We can’t stand…”
Translated by Albert C. Todd
We can’t stand sitting still.
We try, no holds barred, to be liked
by ourselves, friends, the opposition, and the authorities
(I no longer even speak about women).
Then we want to be liked by the country,
then the earth’s globe and the epoch,
then by our descendants, and, as a result
our own wives don’t like us.
From The Collected Poems: 1952-1990 by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, published by Henry Holt and Company, 1991.