By Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Booklet by way of Yevtushenko, Yevgeny
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Translated William O'Daly
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Additional resources for Almost at the End
A young man in a motorcycle helmet, who had parked his Harley on the sidewalk, was pressing a girl in a similar helmet against a concrete wall. The girl wasn't resisting very much, and when they kissed, the helmets clinked. When they got back on the bike, I saw a swastika on the girl's T-shirt, which had come off the wall when he'd pushed her against it. The Harley took off with a roar in the direction of the "wild" beach, taking along the swastika gripping the girl's back like a spider. I walked over to the concrete wall and touched the swastika.
When the bandages were removed from his eyes and he saw daylight again, he swore that he would become a famous artist. But on the day of Germany's capitulation, he lost his sight again, perhaps out of his tragic feelings. When he regained his vision he swore to devote his life to the struggle against the Jews and Reds who had not appreciated his art. Actually, he lived up to his first vow, by becoming the most famous artist of death. He splashed bloody paint on the slashed canvas of the earth, erected scaffolds as sculpture, created obelisks of ruins, and was the first, even before the American sculptor Calder, to come up with sophisticated wire compositions.
The crowd's in tears, and fresh swastikas, like spiders, dance on banners and on sleeves. He shouts and stamps his foot in pique with conquered Europe on his mind and behind him-Rohm, like a ghost, a butcher in creaky leggings. Rohm is thinking: "Your role is over. We'll dump you, little Fuhrer, very soon. And this torchlight night plays and flickers with reflections of fire on Rohm's scars. And feeling Rohm's thoughts with his backbone, merely acting berserk for the crowd, Hitler thinks: "Don't toy with me, brother.
Almost at the End by Yevgeny Yevtushenko