Poems and Songs of Vladimir Vysotsky. The Criminal Code.

Commentary to the song “Alyoha”.

This song calls to mind Ernest Hemingway’s story “The Killers” (1927) and Vasily Shukshin’s film “The Red Snowball Tree” (1974), and it has something in com­mon with Rud­yard Kip­ling’s poem “The Bridegroom” (1918) (this text is a version):

Call me not false, beloved,

If, from thy scarce-known breast

So little time removed,

In other arms I rest.

For this more ancient bride,

Whom coldly I embrace,

Was constant at my side

Before I saw thy face.

Our marriage, often set —

By miracle delayed —

At last is consummate,

And cannot be unmade.

Live, then, whom Life shall cure

Of harassing Remembrance,

And leave us to endure

Until our Lord descends.

The song was written in 1964.

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