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Tested by Tragedy
trans. John Hennessy and Ostap Kin



street street street
swish shoosh
swoosh of
shoe-bottoms
from Halytska square
westward
to the Sun
like anthracite           
to Babyn
Yar
street
swish shoosh
swoosh swoosh swoosh

Kyiv was shh
shh
silent
But did it listen
listen 
listen?

[2001]

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

Київ мов-чав
-чав
-чав
А чи чув
чув
чув?

[2001]

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.

Mark
©2021 Volume Poetry
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©2020 Volume Poetry
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