The Lost Manuscript | Morse

If you burn the library of Kyiv,
not that of Alexandria, they will forgive you. . .
And black snow and white crows—
they are already on the run from Chernobyl.
Kyiv, Kyiv, Kyiv—is not Athens.
But here, too, there are Mongols and Saracens.
And the black ashes of Ukraine.
And the smoke of Dante’s tercets.
It is snowing in Koncha. A recruit
freedom and honesty
lower your head and cry.
To burn a manuscript is to try to prove
that we never existed in the world.
And what bitter trouble you got yourself into…
and how silent history will be about it all.
Already the manuscripts are burning,
and Chernobyl snow flies,
and a woman sows seeds of worries
in the middle of a harsh winter,
and suicidal birds cry
for us to stay. As a people. . .

Translated from Ukrainian by Svetlana Ischenko and Russell Thornton

Dmytro Kremin

Dmytro Kremin was one of Ukraine’s leading poets. Born in 1953, Kremin has published twenty collections of poetry and received numerous awards for his writings and overall contribution to Ukrainian culture. Scythian Wild Field Poems, translated by Svetlana Ischenko and Russell Thornton, is available in English. He died in 2019.

Join our community

Here’s why illustrator and designer Lauren Tamaki wants you to support The Walrus:

Black and white photo of Lauren Tamaki“My last work for The Walrus was a portrait that accompanied a review of Sheila Heti’s new book, pure color. I love collaborating with the art directors of The Walrus because I always know the result will be spectacular.” – Lauren Tamaki

For just $10 a month, you can support the work of The Walrus online. All supporters will receive a free tote bag, access exclusive updates and join the community that fuels the work we do.

Be part of The Walrus.

Monthly donations are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.

About Cody E. Vaughn

Check Also

Publication of a manuscript for the improvement of relations between cancer scientists and patient advocates

HOUSTON, June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Theresa’s Research Foundation is delighted to announce a new …