Russia: A Spit in Time

The times spat at me.

I spit back at the times,

— Andrei Voznesensky

The outspoken Russian poet is as good as his word. He spits when the mood strikes him, and he seems care less of the consequences. When Nikita Khrushchev personally upbraided him for his unconventional poetry, Voznesensky stubbornly refused to recant. When critics attacked him for formal ism, which in Soviet jargon means experimenting with the language, Voznesensky replied in verse: "They nag me about formalism./Formaldehyde: you stink of it and incense." He helped to stir up the Soviet Writers Congress last May by signing a letter boldly...

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