Translated from the Ukrainian by Christine Zawadiwsky
Yellow braids of flowers bloom in the wet meadows,
As in the days of our childhood, in the curling fog
Swallows fly out of the fields as if shot like arrows,
The still white arrows of the ages.
There are gold wasps in the glassy open cups of roses,
Wet stars smoking under the dove-colored night.
An infant light is still burning, burning, burning,
Though it’s laid another decade on its shoulders.
Listen: the father calls to his son
With one direct, eternal word.
And in the water are mirrored stars and faces,
Black-eyed people and their musical tongues.
Bohdan Antonych (1909–1937) was a major Ukrainian poet. Square of Angels (Ardis, 1977) is a selection of his work in English.
Christine Zawadiwsky was feature poet in a recent issue of Open Places. She goes on being prolific in Milwaukee. (updated 1975)
AGNI has published the following translations:
Father’s Land by Bohdan Antonych