I love your Louvre and Prado
And the famed independence of the Sorbonne …
But which of them would survive in truth,
If for three ages your language had been
Forbidden? For honor and language.
Equality, Cossack and fraternal:
The Tsar’s decree that sought to rob us of speech.
And rear girls in slavery
I love gazing at your façades,
Wandering the nocturnal Paris:
For which I would stand and even spill blood, –
For Kyiv, I would kill – it’s that simple!..
I love London to distraction,
And your Beatle manic Liverpool –
That ‘Back in the USSR’ drew us
To a datura infused death.
For Kyiv, you know, is not Russia:
If they tear us from you with their teeth,
That bite will not let you loose from its grip!
The empire harvests but does not sow …
I love painfully,
Your Parthenon and Coliseum.
I scribo**, beloved, because scribo
For so long with a love of my own.
*part of the poem-clip ‘A nocturnal conversation with Europe’ (Kyiv 2012)
**I write (Latin)