Andrei Voznesensky


A Dissertation in the Form of a Ballad

Translated by Daniel Weissbort

Yesterday my doctor announced:
‘Maybe you’re talented, who knows,
but even so your blow-pipe’s frozen,
keep out of the freezing weather.’
O nose!
Inevitably as the hours,
my nose, the capuchins’ and yours

majestically grows and grows!
Those of illustrious fellow-citizens,
of watchmen,
grow through the night,
puffing sleeplessly like owls,
chilly and knocked out of true,
pounded by boxers,
caught in doors,
but the neighbour’s wife like a drill
screws its way through the chinks!
(with mystical concern Gogol
intuitively guessed their role.)

My friend Bukashkin he was drunk,
he dreamed that like a spire
bringing down basin and chandelier
waking the floors and running through them,
his nose
over him
like receipts mounting in a

the pin piercing all the stories.

He wondered, ‘where does it all lead?’
I said: ‘Your books are going to be inspected.’
On the 30th. Bukashkin went to jail.

O eternal motive power of noses!
The longer the nose, the shorter life,
On pale faces at dead of night,
like a pump or a kite,
the nose wears us all out,

and it is said that eskimos
kiss by way of the nose…

But this didn’t catch on with us.

Notes on this poem

© Zoya Boguslavskaya.