Tested by Tragedy
trans. John Hennessy and Ostap Kin

street street street
swish shoosh
swoosh of
from Halytska square
to the Sun
like anthracite           
to Babyn
swish shoosh
swoosh swoosh swoosh

Kyiv was shh
But did it listen


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.

Read Ostap Kin’s introduction to these translations.


Випробування трагедією
Borys Dabo-Nikolayev

шлях шлях шлях
шелех шелест
з Галицької площі
на Захід
до Сонця
антрацит наче
у Яр
шелех шелест
шерех шерех шерех

Київ мов-чав
А чи чув


Borys Dabo-Nikolayev is a poet, essayist and literary critic. He graduated from Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv. During the Soviet era, he was repressed for his connections with the so-called “Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists” and was banned from defending his dissertation and teaching at universities. He is currently teaching Ukrainian Literature at Kyiv National Linguistic University.

Forthcoming in Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond, ed. Ostap Kin, trans. John Hennessy, Ostap Kin (Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, 2021). Reprinted with permission. © 2021 by the President and Fellows of the Harvard College.


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