Sergei Yesenin

Confession Of A Hooligan

Not every man can sing, Not every apple chances to fall at a stranger's feet. Herewith the greatest confession hooligan ever confessed. I walk unscathed, resolute, my head like a kerosene lamp on my shoulders. Deep in this murk it pleases me To enlighten the leafless autumn of your souls. It pleases me now the abusive stones bombard me like broadsides of belching thunder. I only squeeze the more tightly the flailing bladder of my hair. Then it is well I recollect the dew-pond and the aider's husky whispering, recall that somewhere I have parents who scorn every line I write, who yet love me like flesh and field, like the shower that loosens the green in spring, who would avenge with pitchforks each shout you hurl at me. Poor, poor peasants! How ugly you made yourselves with your fear of God and the swampy recesses. O, if you could but understand your son's the finest poet in Russia! Your hearts did not grow grey for his life when he paddled barefoot in puddles, why now then when he wears a top-hat and silk shirts? The ardour of the village boy still burns in him. He greets from afar each cow that adorns a butcher's sign. And meeting coachmen on the square remembering the manure smell of his homeland fields, he's ready to carry every horse's tail like the train of a wedding-dress. I love my home, I love so much, so very much. Gnawed as it is with grief's willow-rust, the filthy snouts of its hogs are sweet to me; and the angry jabots' voices in the silent night. I'm sick with fondness with childhood memories, I dream of the damps and mists of April nights. Our maple squats before the bonfire dawn, Toasting itself on its haunches. How many eggs I thieved from the rooks' nests, swaying in its forks. And is its green tower still the same, its bark as tough as it was? And you my favourite faithful mangy bitch! blind and shrill with age, you wander now about the yard, your tail scrawny between your legs, confusing the scent of gate and byre. How sweet the pranks that I remember, filching a crust of bread from mother, and nibbling it together, sharing the last crumb with each other. I'm still the same. At heart, I'm still the same. My eyes light up in my face like cornflower in the rye. Strewing a grassy mat of poems, I should like to say something tender. Good night. To all of you, good night. The dew is tinkling in the gloomy twilight grass. Blue world, O blue, blue world! Even to die into this blueness would be no pain. What if I should seem the cynic, tying a rear-light to my tail? Ancient, good, worn-out Pegasus, Do I need now your gentle canter? I came like an austere craftsman to sing and celebrate the rats. Like August my head fades its wild hair with wine. I want to be a yellow sail, sailing to the land we're heading for.

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