October 15, 2022

Poems in a Piggy Bank

Poems in a Piggy Bank
Evacuation of Kiev, March 2022. Palinchak

The five poems below are from an anthology of new Russophone anti-war poetry in English translation that has yet to be published. Its title is In Disbelief: 100 Anti-War Poems, published in the UK by Smokestack Books..  

In his lectures on Vladimir Vernadsky, V. V. Ivanov said that in the noosphere, defined by Vernadsky as the sphere of reason or the intellectual cloud around the planet, large-scale tragedies create voids which must be filled by works of poets, artists, musicians, and philosophers. While poetry can have a healing effect on authors and their readership alike, it can also act as a soldier fighting for the right cause. Whatever the reason may be, the numbers of new compelling poems explode during wars and revolutions. 

Since the onset of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, a group of volunteer readers, editors and translators from the US and UK have been collecting Russophone anti-war poetry, taking care to secure author permissions. Initially, this was done mainly to safekeep anti-war works of poets physically located in Russia, including texts by several authors who write anonymously for fear of persecution. Many of those authors have since left Russia; as the collection grew, anti-war texts from recent and established emigres and Russophone Ukrainian authors were added.  

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