This is for my Artist Friends, Be Encouraged by Pushkin

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To a Poet

A poet! Do not prize the love of people around,
It soon will pass — the glorifying hum —
And come a court of fools and laughing of cold crowd —
But you must always stay firm, morose and calm.

You’re king: live lonesome. Along the freedom’s road,
Stride there, to where just shows your free mind,
While modernizing fruits of thoughts, beloved,
And not demanding you to be awarded.

Awards inside of you. You are your highest court;
Severely then all, you value your effort.
Well, are you satisfied, oh, my severe artist?

You’re satisfied. Then let the mob condemn your verse,
Spit at the altar, where your fire burns,
And toss your brass tripod with somewhat childish wildness.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, January, 2000
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, August, 2000

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