Left hook, right hook, an uppercut, A jab to start round nine; Boris Budkeyevís kicking butt - Alas, that butt is mine. Iím hoping I survive this round, Iím praying for the bell. Another jab, Iím on the ground, And Iím not feeling well. Budkeyev was thinking, while punching my nose, That life is as pretty and sweet as a rose.1 "Four, five, six, seven..." goes the count, I stagger to my feet; My fans donít think I can surmount His lead, and fear defeat; Iím not conserving strength, by plan, For later in the fight - I just canít hit my fellow man, I just donít think itís right. Budkeyev was thinking, while stomping my toes, That life is as pretty and sweet as a rose. The fans have filled the air with boos, Iím letting down their hopes. Budkeyevís sure he cannot lose, And I am on the ropes. Heís a Siberian, I bet, Theyíre really hard to shake. I asked him, "Arenít you tired yet? Sit down and take a break!" But he would not listen, for heís one of those Who think lifeís as pretty and sweet as a rose. He keeps on landing jabs and hooks, Heís prancing all around; I bob and weave, but now it looks Like someoneís going down. Heís reached complete exhaustion, and Collapses with a sigh; The referee lifts up my hand, Which hadnít hurt a fly. He thought, as he lay there, that lifeís like a rose... For some, like a rose - and for some, it just blows.
1 "Life is as pretty and sweet as a rose" is a very loose paraphrase of the Mayakovsky quote used in the original. The opponentís name should be pronounced Russian-style ("buh-REES bood-KEH-yev").
 
© Serge Elnitsky. Translation, 2003
© Andrew J. Evans. Performance, ?