I have erected a monument to myself
Not built by hands; the track of it, though trodden
By the people, shall not become overgrown,
And it stands higher than Alexander’s column.
I shall not wholly die. In my sacred lyre
My soul shall outlive my dust and escape corruption —
And I shall be famed so long as underneath
The moon a single poet remains alive.
I shall be noised abroad through all great Russia,
Her innumerable tongues shall speak my name:
The tongue of the Slavs’ proud grandson, the Finn, and now
The wild Tungus and Kalmyk, the steppes’ friend.
In centuries to come I shall be loved by the people
For having awakened noble thoughts with my lyre,
For having glorified freedom in my harsh age
And called for mercy towards the fallen.
Be attentive, Muse, to the commandments of God;
Fearing no insult, asking for no crown,
Receive with indifference both flattery and slander,
And do not argue with a fool.
— Translated by Dylan M. Thomas
I do not like my state of mind;
I’m bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn’s recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I’m disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I’d be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men….
I’m due to fall in love again.