Is there something that could level the absurdity of a suicide? Probably, this is only a human’s life that can. The question of what crimes people have been given the chance to live for remains open. The only that people can do is merely guesswork.
The Dove in Santiago, a poem by Yevtushenko, is a moving attempt to figure out if there are answers to all these questions, an attempt so moving in its futility.
People are born to live, but the life that they are granted with is full of misery and torments, it seems completely deprived of any common sense. The absence of any reasons to go on with this experience is evident, and yet people are trying to escape this fact, searching for the hidden truths that they have thought up themselves not to go completely mad.
The poem is breathing this idea with every line. The torn and tossed style and the manner of writing, the words that seem to have collided accidentally, the scraps of ideas that rush through the main character, Enrique. He is all torn just like the rest of the world.
Yet this mess is governed by a law that lives within it. The mechanism of the world, so easy to watch and so hard to understand, so easy to break and so difficult to mend, consists of the parts that are interdependent.
There is no chance, or accidents. Once something goes wrong, the whole structure collapses, leaving the remains of the world without a crutch to lean on. Every single action that a man takes drags a string of consequences, either tragic or comic. This is a black-and-white pattern that follows people throughout their entire life, making the rest of the world depend on Mr. Doe. A crazy idea as it is, it is one of the three pillars the world is based on. Which are the other two is a mystery.
“Everything is linked.” These simple words from the poem make the whole lots of truths come together in a fancy stir, shining people’s lives with a happy nonsense. A world is a string of beads, and whenever you want to take one out, you cut the whole string. We are all interconnected in the great circle of life. That sounds way too familiar to me…
While it is more or less understood with the writer’s philosophy, it is far more complicated with the reader’s perception of the poem. The reader’s philosophy, at times not hat sophisticated as the author’s one, and sometimes being almost equal to Yevtushenko’s, is bound to be different and make even a broader question to discuss.
What do people feel as they read these sharp, sad and troubled lines?
There must be the feeling of a slight misconception – not about the poem, but about the way the world turns around – and a touch of ease. Eventually, you find out that the world is not a desert with rare planets of different people colliding to push each other even further.
The thought of all things depending on each other as close as a baby depends on the mother is a relief. There is not a single thing that will pass without another event happening. A butterfly that has been stepped on might be the initial reason for a revolution in an eastern country.
There is very little that is needed to understand the interdependence of all existing in the world. A man commits a suicide and kills a dove – the symbolism of the poem is amazing, Enrique kills the symbol of peace and love, taking it together with his own life! – and that is his contribution to the earth to keep rolling. There could be no other warning so clear to tell people that they should be careful about what they are doing.
The world that the mankind is bound to live in is tragic in its irreversibility. Once done, an action cannot be called off. And this might give people some food for thoughts. At least, while thinking, they will not have so much time to make a lot of mess.