A Poet's View of Glasnost

Yevtushenko writes about new leaders and old fears

Yevgeni Yevtushenko, 53, has for three decades been the most famous poet in the Soviet Union, a country where poets often become national heroes. A young rebel in the late 1950s, he flourished during the cultural thaw of the Khrushchev years. After Brezhnev came to power in 1964, Yevtushenko adapted to more conservative times, becoming a supporter of the government and writing verse acceptable to the Kremlin. In this article written for TIME, he gives his views of the changes under Gorbachev:

In the winter of 1986 I passed through La Guardia Airport while on a hectic recital tour of the...