বাংলা English

The Simple Things 

The simple things are the most valuable: 
bread; graph ruled notebooks; 
wind reading a tree,
flipping through its leaves… 
I do not wish to suffer 
to the point where I cry.  
My eye follows a clock’s second hand.
Why does it run so fast, 
like the enemy soldiers 
across my land
and my own consciousness and hopes 
as if it is their home? 
Reddish stains on the ground – 
surely it is the end of the world, 
certainly, it is the end for someone – 
cause the TV to be cut off.
Broadcaster, why do you read
only the words on a monitor
written by others? 
Say something your own, something good, 
so that millions of people, 
finally, can breathe out  
the word “finally” – 
a word weightless and perfect – 
like the flight of a young bird.

Tranlsated from Ukrainian by Svetlana Ischenko


Joy is just barely breaking out
through rusty veins.
Time is a great master
of simplifying hopes,
it dictates locations
among wars and disasters,
and unnaturally bent bodies
on the shore.
Heavy waters of history
take somebody every day.
Ravens of last news 
zoom into eyes
searching for despair,
tears and blood,
running in TV veins
for news close-ups:
it is an omen to remember
the face of a crazy world
dancing around you
on iron legs.


translated from Ukrainian by Marta Kondratiuk


You must be happy, 
that’s your duty 
with those who were 
and to those who will be. 
Every morning you have to go 
somewhere, to someone, 
you have to return at night, 
bringing bread. 
You have to embody all the dreams 
and to love the best of us 
also the worst, 
who may be disgusting to you. 
You have to return 
what was given to you –
by someone, sometime and for something.
You should not be a burden 
to relatives, cousins, and friends. 
You have to be a machine for life, 
eternal engine and a gold pin, 
so as not to rust prematurely. 
You have to. 
Otherwise, what are you going to say there, 
when they ask you severely, 
like a pupil during a long exam: 
did you manage to be happy? 

Translated from Ukrainian by Bogdan Boychuk

Teodozia Zariwna is a Ukrainian poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, journalist, translator, literary and theatrical critic, writer and many years was host of literary and cultural TV programs. Her works have been translated into English, German, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Macedonian, Polish, Czech and Romanian. She is the author of seven books of poetry, among them Acting On a Circle, Provincial Thoughts, Out of Ashes and Metal . She has also published five novels, book of short stories, two theatrical plays, and many documentary movie scripts. She translated from English into Ukrainian plays of Arthur Miller, Brian Friel, Dusan Kovachevic, Donald Churchill, Wieslaw Mysliwski. She translated many poems from English and Polish. She has won a number of prestigious literary prizes. She currently lives in Kyiv. Since November 2014, Teodozia Zariwna has been the chief editor for the literary magazine Kyiv in Ukraine.

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