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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MAILBOX: 20 Years Later, Vladimir Vystosky Still Inspires

In response to "Beloved Bard Honored 20 Years on," July 26.


Your article regarding Vladimir Vysotsky is an expression of personal interest to me, an expatriate from the United States who has lived in this country since 1990.

The former director of CNIKPK, Anatoly Lubin, and I exchanged poetic writings during our enterprise's occupation of those premises from 1992 to 1996. His poem on the life of Vladimir Vysotsky, below, was one he requested I develop into English (also below).

In my 10 years here, I have not learned the language skills needed to derive the intimate meanings or capture the spirit of the original text in a direct poetic translation. But with the assistance of a Russian colleague, who read and reread the text as I interpreted and selected choices of expressions, the English paraphrased transcription with additions and amendments took shape.

Perhaps your readers who annually voice their acclaim for Vladimir Vysotsky would think it appropriate to add this piece to his memory and place in this society's culture.

Frank Clasquin

Director, Swets/Blackwell


???" ? ??*_? ??", ???" ?? f _* ??,

? ??...-?... ??* ? "..."?? _??,

??? ? ?..."_?_?? "L?_*, _* ??*? ...??? ???,

???...* ?...L? L?_ ?-??- "??.

???...... ...???* ??*..., ???" ?? f _* ??,

??? * ?- ????????*..., ??""? ????

? ?*? ? ???_*, ??*??? ???? f "...???":

???*L?, ?????_*, ? ? _? ???*...??"?

??..."? ???c? ??*_" _*?*?_? ??

? ?L??? ?L?_, "??*? ???_,

? ??*__ ????_*?, ???...?? _-?_*?,

???? ??, ???"?-?...*?, ???*...?*? ? ?...*?.

?? ??_?, ??...??, ? ..."?"?" ???,

???* ????" ?...*???, ???* *??? ??"?.

? ??? ?? ?? ?......?_-, ???_** f _??

??? ?*?_-"_?*_ ?? "_ _*?*?.

? "??* ????_, ? ???* ...??

?- _?* ?*???.

?? ??_?, ?????,

???_- ????.

The cry and wail of abject despair

Pervades the hospital room air

Where in the smothering heat of July

Joined to eternity

Lies Vysotsky

That powerful voice

Of our universe

Waiting to pen his greatest song.

The urge to dash our heads against a stone

Will not atone

Or revive our apostle of humanity.

No doctor or friend heard his call,

My void, this loss, is

As one walking in a fog

With pain as my compass.

In the flowering bloom of talent we cherish

Soul and material doubly perish.

A Russian path of destiny

Will not be denied,

When our gifted spirits f hearts of gold f

Leave us in a Gagarin path of fire,

Disappear from a Shukshin scene,

Hang in Yesenin's society of gloom

Or march to a Vampilov watery grave.

We are bereaved to view this fire of flight.

Good-bye, Vladimir,

You are the personification of good,

Conquering harsh fate

To perceive masterful rhyme.

Our millions, yes, this nation of peoples

Hoist your flag of songs

As banners of life.

Listening to your speech

Of aromatic strings in the rhyme of keys

From your eternal voice.

Farewell, my ingenious friend f National Artist!

The Amazing Kiselyov


Yevgeny Kiselyov will never cease to amaze me as an intelligent journalist and businessman. (Kiselyov is the NTV television station's anchorman on the current affairs program "Itogi," as well as the station's general director.)

Beginning from that day in December 1999 when former President Boris Yeltsin picked then- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as his successor f and, accordingly, the acting president of Russia f Kiselyov and "Itogi" went into action; from that point on, Kiselyov never saw anything good in Vladimir Putin. To date, Kiselyov still wants the newly elected president's head because of the war against the Chechen rebels, irrespective of the fact that, to date, I have never heard Kiselyov formulate a tangible alternative to the situation in Chechnya.

Then came the arrest of Vladimir Gusinsky, the founder and head of Media-MOST, which includes NTV television. Yevgeny Kiselyov was at his best in beating the drum of "Putin is muzzling freedom of the press." Does that mean that, if a media magnate like Gusinsky falls afoul of the law, the enforcers of that law should look the other way so people like Kiselyov don't start shouting, "The press is at risk?"

Some years ago in Italy, media magnate Silvio Berlusconi was prosecuted for, among other crimes, not paying all of his taxes. But the Italian press wasn't at risk; the law enforcement officers just did their job.

I watched Yevgeny Kiselyov again this past Sunday on his weekly program. His guest was German Gref, the economic development and trade minister. The "Itogi" anchorman was pathetic, in my opinion, by trying to win over the minister as a liberal serving under a dictator with ulterior motives.

The staff of NTV should demand from Kiselyov more objective commentaries on the actions and on the person of the president of the Russian Federation. As the anchorman of "Itogi," Kiselyov has done enough harm to NTV, and as a businessman and general director, he should know that he is not the only member of the staff of NTV.

Samson Nzeribe