Vladimir Vysotsky. Who For What Runs.

TAdapted from Serge Elnitsky and George
Tokarev’s translations by Akbar Muhammad.
he Sentimental Boxer’s Song.

A bang, a bang, once more a bang,

and then a bang again...

It’s Victor Gruzdev hits the bag

alas, it’s me today.

I’m hoping to survive this round,

I’m praying for the bell.

An uppercut, I’m on the ground,

and I’m not feeling well...

And while my keen rival

was hitting my nose,

He thought that his life’s like

the one of a rose.

The ref says, “Nine!” I’m half alive,

but on my feet again.

I dodge, I leap, I block, I dive

and thus even points I gain.

I don’t conserve my strength, by plan,

for rushing to a charge

I just can’t hit my fellow man,

I just don’t think it’s right.

But while my keen rival

was stomping my toes,

He thought that his life’s like

the one of a rose.

My fellow townsmen howl and cry,

I’m near to down their hopes.

My rival strives for a close fight,

while I attempt to dodge.

As he’s a Cossack, he’ll get it,

they’re really hard to shake.

I told him, “Friend, why not to sit?

ye’re tired, take a break!”

But he didn’t find out as

he breathed our close

And thought that his life’s like

the one of a rose.

He keeps on hitting with a snort,

the curtain soon must fall...

Don’t call this murder it’s the sport

of strong men and so on!

He’s reached complete exhaustion, and

collapses with a sigh...

The ref did lift up my right hand,

which hadn’t hurt even a fly.

He lay there and thought that

the life of a rose

Belongs to the persons

who don’t strive for force.


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