so much in this world is unreal we’re looking for a solid earthly base a december beer near the cathedral and a gray day hums bossa nova thaw like a tear towers over the city buses arrive and depart and in our ornate ceramic mugs sways a bitter amber offering we long so deeply for this warmth like a frozen plexus of grapes these crows are little black angels they gather a black council on the pediment and in the melting snow a mixture of sand and salt heavy earthly measures and we breathe warmth into cold mugs and watch the way the black wings flap
By Yuri Andrukhovych
Translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin
Yuri Andrukhovych is one of the most prominent and influential Ukrainian poets. He has published more than a dozen poetry collections, fiction books, and collections of essays, and his work has been translated into many languages. A recipient of various awards including the Herder Prize (2001), the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize (2005), the Leipzig Book Prize for Understanding (2006), the Angelus Prize (2006), the Hannah Arendt Prize (2014), and the Goethe Medal (2016), Andrukhovych lives and works in Ivano-Frankivsk.
John Hennessy is the author of two collections of poems, 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 America Award for Poetry in Translation and co-winner of the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry, and the anthology Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond, part of the new Harvard Library of Ukrainian Literature (HUP). He is the poetry editor of The Common and teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Ostap Kin is the editor, and co-translator with John Hennessy, of Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond (forthcoming from Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute), the editor of New York Elegies, and the co-translator, with John Hennessy, of Serhiy Zhadan’s A New Orthography, finalist for the PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation and co-winner of the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry. He co-translated, with Vitaly Chernetsky, Yuri Andrukhovych’s Songs for a Dead Rooster.
Photo by Lisa Kalloo
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