Sunday, November 16, 2014

November: Holodomor Remembrance Month

November is Holodomor Remembrance month. The Holodomor was a terrible time in Ukrainian history (1932-33) where several million Ukrainians perished due to a "famine" brought about by Josef Stalin's attempt to break the spirit of the independent Ukrainian farmers. The author of Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak who visited the area during the famine wrote: 
What I saw could not be expressed in words. There was such an inhuman, unimaginable misery, such a terrible disaster, that it began to seem almost abstract, it would not fit within the bounds of consciousness. I fell ill. For an entire year I could not write.
My poem focusing on the Holodomor was published a few years ago by Apropos Literary Journal but the link is non-functional. Here it is below with a photo of the heart wrenching sculpture marking the tragedy in Kyiv.


Blue sky over a field of grain.
And in the square a little girl
in braided hair stands alone 
in grief with hollow, sightless eyes.
Deep thoughts have been taken away
by her deep pain.

                             Deep calls to deep
and sorrow to sorrow. I would give
her hope but all I have are my tears
falling into Lybid’s stream
while hers fill the wide Dnipro.