Soviet Union: A Poem for the Party

A Poem for the Party

Yevgeny Yevtushenko, the Soviet Union's best-known living poet, knows all too well that it is one thing to criticize dead or deposed leaders and quite another to chastise those in power. Last week Yevtushenko, 52, who once was considered a daring anti-Establishment voice in his country, demonstrated anew his recognition of that crucial difference. Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper, published a Yevtushenko poem that condemns the sluggish bureaucracy that General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev repeatedly has blamed for blocking economic progress. Wrote Yevtushenko: "They jammed sticks/ in the wheels of the first locomotive/ to make sure it wouldn't work,/ quacks gripped the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!