Someone else’s rut
No one’s to blame for what I got,
I moan and weep, -
I ended up in someone’s rut,
It’s long and deep.
I made my plan, I set my goal
There’s no escape for me at all, -
The edges of this dreadful rut
Are slippery and smeared with mud.
I curse the ones who dug me in,
My tolerance is growing thin.
And I’m declining, like a nut:
“To a rut, in a rut, with a rut…”
Why am I eager to break free?
It’s not unbearable!
And living in this rut for me
Is not so terrible.
No one can ram you from the side, -
You can’t complain.
And you can move, as you decide,
Straight up the lane.
You’re free to drink and eat a lot,
It’s rather pleasant in this rut.
I’ve understood - it’s not bad luck -
I’m not alone. There’s others stuck.
I only have to keep the pace!
And all will end up in one place.
Then, suddenly, somebody cried:
“Hey, let me pass!”
He fought the rut and lost the fight,
Oh, what an ass.
And in this clash, he quickly burned
His soul’s reserve,
And bearings burst at every turn
And hit the earth.
He warped the edges in that spot,
And stretched the boundaries of the rut.
He fought because of foolish pride,
And now, the clown’s on the side,
Stuck in the ditch, he can’t impede
The rest of us who kept our speed.
But very soon, my turn had come -
My engine’s dead.
This isn’t racing, I’ve succumbed,
I inch ahead.
I should just push it to the end,
But no, can’t do, -
Perhaps, behind me, there’s a friend
Who’ll pull me through…
I’m waiting in this rut in vain,
I should have picked a different lane.
How I despise this very rut,
I’d like to spit with clay and mud, -
But the deeper I dig in the slime,
The less hope for the rest down the line.
Then, I broke out in a sweat. -
The engine roared!
I inched a little bit ahead
Along a board.
Ahead, the vernal streams have cleared
My way. I gasped.
The ending of the rut appeared -
I’m safe, at last!
My tires spin and spit out grime,
Back at the rut that I survived.
You, back there! Just do as I do -
To be clear - do not drive after me.
This rut is for me, not for you!
Find your own rut to take to break free!
By Vladimir Vysotsky
Translation by Andrey Kneller