Кирилл Харитонов
Кирилл Харитонов
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Muhammad Ali ― Мухаммед Али: A Poet in and out of the Ring...

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Boxer Muhammad Ali stands over boxer Sonny Liston after knocking him down during the first round of their match. Clay won the May 25, 1965 fight and retained his title as heavyweight champion. Getty Images.

Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali by proclaiming, “I am the greatest." Before his fight with heavyweight champion Sonny Liston in February 1964, Ali was known as Cassius Clay. Before the fight, he composed a poem, which he called ...


“This is the legend of Cassius Clay,
The most beautiful fighter in the world today.
He talks a great deal, and brags indeed-y,
of a muscular punch that's incredibly speed-y.
The fistic world was dull and weary,
But with a champ like Liston, things had to be dreary.
Then someone with color and someone with dash,
Brought fight fans are runnin' with Cash.
This brash young boxer is something to see
And the heavyweight championship is his des-tin-y.
This kid fights great; he’s got speed and endurance,
But if you sign to fight him, increase your insurance.
This kid's got a left; this kid's got a right,
If he hit you once, you're asleep for the night.
And as you lie on the floor while the ref counts ten,
You’ll pray that you won’t have to fight me again.
For I am the man this poem’s about,
The next champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
This I predict and I know the score,
I’ll be champ of the world in ’64.
When I say three, they’ll go in the third,
10 months ago

So don’t bet against me, I’m a man of my word.
He is the greatest! Yes!
I am the man this poem’s about,
I’ll be champ of the world, there isn’t a doubt.
Here I predict Mr. Liston’s dismemberment,
I’ll hit him so hard; he’ll wonder where October and November went.
When I say two, there’s never a third,
Standin against me is completely absurd.
When Cassius says a mouse can outrun a horse,
Don’t ask how; put your money where your mouse is!

Muhammad Ali, known then as Cassius Clay, recites a poem during a contest at the Bitter End, a Greenwich Village coffeehouse and nightclub, in 1963...

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Из очерка Н. Моховой «Кассиус Клей» в детском журнале «Костёр», № 7, 1968 г. Название стихотворения в журнале принадлежит автору очерка...

Этот рассказ,
ни на что не похожий,
о человеке
с прекрасной кожей,
который не прочь
поболтать о своих
слепящих ударах
и скорости их.

Наш бокс умирал,
и молились дельцы
в слезах, чтоб он вовсе
не отдал концы,
чтоб справился бокс
с многолетним удушьем.
Чтоб страшен был
новый боксер предыдущим.

Был Паттерсон скучен,
хоть был мускулист он.
Не лучше его
коронованный Листон.
Но «Свергну его
и других королей!» —
Марцелиус Кассиус Клей.

Пред ним устоять
не способен никто.
За боем следящему
кажется, что
с противником он
в кошки-мышки скучает.
А после вообще
всякий свет выключает.

Все зрители скоро узнают,
что он
и в весе, и в веке своем

Сокращённый и очень вольный пересказ: Иосиф Бродский