Yevtushenko Dedicates Poem to Allison Krause, One of the Students Killed at Kent U
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Yevtushenko Dedicates Poem to Allison Krause, One of the Students Killed at Kent U

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The Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda published a poem yesterday dedicated to Allison Krause, the 19 year-old Pittsburgh girl who was one of four students shot to death by National Guardsmen at Kent State College in Ohio May 4. The poem was written by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, author of the famous poem Babi Yar which described the Nazi massacre of Jews in the Ukraine during World War II. Miss Krause and two other of the slain students were Jewish. The poem was titled “Flowers and Bullets.” Its theme was based on reports that on the day before her death, Miss Krause put a flower in the muzzle of a Guardsman’s rifle and said, “Flowers are better than bullets.” Yevtushenko wrote, “Don’t give flowers to the state, where truth is punished. Such a state’s gift in return is cynical and cruel, and the gift to you in return, Allison Krause, was a bullet that pushed the flower back.” In another verse, the poet declared, “Rise murdered Allison Krause, like an immortelle of the epoch, a thorny flower of protest.” An immortelle is a flower frequently placed on graves. “Flowers and Bullets” was described in Moscow as both a good poem and one that met the Kremlin’s propaganda needs.

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