A Poet's Praise for a Czar

One of Russia's best-known poets, Andrei Voznesensky is also an artist and a songwriter. He wrote this essay while visiting New York City for an exhibition of his work at the Sperone Westwater Gallery.

What feelings did I experience watching the Soviet flag being lowered over the Kremlin?

Was it gloating over the demise of the flag that waved over the Gulag and over the tanks crushing Prague, Afghanistan and Moscow itself -- the flag in whose name the recent putschists ordered 250,000 handcuffs to be ready?

Or anguish for the single country, forged over a millennium, beautiful, horrible, yet spiritual...

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