trans. John Hennessy and Ostap Kin 

At the corner of Carmelite and Saint
Spirit, a cold six-foot-six dude lies,
one eye covered in mold, like a cyclops
(ancient). Leaking from under his ear

all over the pavement, a red broth,
a (crimson) syrup. In the center of his hat
a hole’s been burned. A fly buzzes
above him, while his spirit, like a wailing

from the womb, shoots straight to heaven,
a thief’s paradise where every pimp or swindler
will pick raspberries from the bush forever.

Surrounded by cops and dogs
his old mother thinks: “With what dignity
you’ve completed your journey, my son.”

John Hennessy is the author of two poetry collections, Bridge and Tunnel and Coney Island Pilgrims. He is the co-translator, with Ostap Kin, of A New Orthography, selected poems by Serhiy Zhadan, finalist for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, 2021, and co-winner of the Derek Walcott Prize, 2021. The poems published here are included in the forthcoming anthology Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute), edited and co-translated by Ostap Kin.

Ostap Kin is an editor (and translator with John Hennessy) of Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond (forthcoming from Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute) and New York Elegies: Ukrainian Poets Respond, and is the co-translator, with John Hennessy, of A New Orthography, selected poems by Serhiy Zhadan, co-winner of the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry and finalist for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. With Vitaly Chernetsky, he translated Yuri Andrukhovych's Songs for a Dead Rooster.


Yuri Andrukhovych

На розі Кармелітської та Духа
Святого двометровий зимний хлоп
лежав, зацвівши оком, як циклоп
(античний). Потекла на брук з-під вуха

його червона юха, мов сироп 
(малиновий), а в центрі капелюха
прострелено діру. Літала муха
над ним, і плач дівочий із утроб

летів до неба, де злодійський рай,
де кожен сутенер або шахрай
знайде в кущах навік собі малину.

В присутності лягавих та собак
старенька мати думала: «Ось так
ти гідно шлях життя завершив, сину».

Yuri Andrukhovych is one of the most prominent and influential Ukrainian poets and writers. He has published more than a dozen poetry collections, fiction books, and collections of essays, and his work has been translated into many languages. His most recent collection of poems in English translation is Songs for a Dead Rooster (2018); his most recent collection of essays is My Final Territory (2018). Andrukhovych lives and works in Ivano-Frankivsk.

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