A comparison of the manuscript with the published poem reveals major changes as well as subtle ones. To start at the beginning of the poem, the sixth line "falling off [of the/a branch] ("obletevskii") is changed in the final version to "flying from" ("uletevshii"). Likewise in line 7, "fly off/take off" ("poletai") is changed to "flutter away" ("poporkai"). Yevtushenko may have already decided to make this change by the end of the draft, since he in fact uses "poprkhai" in place of "poletai" in the refrain of the first stanza on the last page. Likewise, in lines 30–31, while the original describes "a girl's wedding dress" ("plat'e devich'e svabednoe"). In line 9, he crosses out "you [are]," electing to depersonalize the "petal." And he likewise crosses out "Russian." replacing it with "Ukarainian." The original draft uses the word "simply" ("prosto") — "simply a godly / god's petal," whereas, the published version uses the more inclusive "general/universal" ("obshchii") which fits in better with the poems theme of national unity/equality.
In line 38, the original draft states "clean/clear" ("chistoi") springs/fountains; this appears as "bloody" fountains in the published version. In line 53 there is a word swap which changes the meaning quite a bit: "ulovykh" in the original is changed to "griaznikh" in the final version, which changes the meaning from "the bones have no horrid lusts/there are no horrid lusts in the bones" to "the bones have no perceptible fears." In the following lines, the original states "there are no bones from the society 'Memory.'" This is changed to "here there are no members of the society 'Memory'" in the final version. In line 71, "char/blame" ("obvinili") your grey hair" appears as "leave behind/preempt ('upredili') your grey hair" in the original. Line 87 appears in the present tense in the published version, but the past tense in the original. Published: "When the foliage burns"; draft: "There, where the foliage burned."
The last major change is in line 11 where "You are Russian and Jewish" is changed to "Ukrainian and Jewish" in the published version. In this poem, Yevtushenko clearly shows some trepidation and anxiety over where and how to use "Russian" and "Ukrainian". It's notable that he originally emphasizes Russian over Ukrainian in the draft version, but later reverses himself.
It is also important that Yevtushenko depersonalizes the poem for the published version. At several points in the body of the draft, he includes the informal pronoun "you" ("ty"). However, this pronoun appears only twice in the final version of the text: at the beginning and the end, in the same line—"you are guilty of nothing."
An important poem marking a remarkable year in the history of Europe, 1989. "You are guilty of nothing."
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