Andrei Voznesensky, 1933–2010

By Susan Harris

The Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky has died at seventy-seven. Here are the first and last stanzas from his “Darkmotherscream,” translated by Robert Bly and Vera Dunham, in The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry:


Darkmotherscream is a Siberian dance,

cry from prison or a yell for help,

or, perhaps, God has another word for it—

ominous little grin—darkmotherscream.

                  * * *

Meanwhile go on dancing, drunker and drunker.

“Shagadam magadam—darkmotherscream.”

Don’t forget—Rome fell

not having grasped the phrase: darkmotherscream.

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