Flowers and Bullets

Special Collections and Archives

Flowers and Bullets

Special Collections and Archives

Flowers and Bullets

Flowers and Bullets

Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Shortly after four students were killed by National Guard bullets on the Kent State University campus on May 4, 1970, Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote a poem dedicated to Allison Krause, one of the slain students. Its theme was based on the report that the day before her death, Ms Krause had put a flower on a National Guardsman's rifle, saying that "flowers are better than bullets." The poem, "Flowers & Bullets," was printed in Pravda, the Communist party newspaper.

In December 1970, Yevtushenko donated the manuscript of the poem -- reproduced here -- to the Libraries' Department of Special Collections & Archives.

View the manuscript

A translation of the poem by Anthony Kahn was published by City Lights Books in 1970. That translation is as follows:


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