Home > Poetry > The Mad Woman
Wasyl Barka
Translated from the Ukrainian by Stash
Published: Mon Oct 15 1990
Art: Paul TheriaultEver New (detail), 2022, acrylic and found paper on scavenged wood
The Mad Woman

Fugitive, like a white bird, in tears
she cries out to one killed by bombs:
—I am on the sunlight, on the gravel;
I will walk across the torrent’s spray.

Fugitive by the birches and weeds,
the ghost of her betrothed cries out:
—My tender feet are wounded on the rocks;
I will walk across the torrent’s spray.

Palms raised, she graces him
in the sheen, between the waves:
—After this horrible earthly suffering,
we will meet again — as kindred . . .

in the shade—the eternal jasmine’s—
with immaculate joy.

See what's inside AGNI 31 and 32

Wasyl Barka (1908–2003) was born in Solonytsia, Ukraine. He lived in exile from 1947 until his death, moving first to France before coming to the United States in 1950. He is the author of over twenty volumes of poetry, fiction, and essays, including the novel The Yellow Prince.

Stash’s Love Letter from the City is looking for a publisher. Presently, he is translating the poems of Wasyl Barka from the Ukrainian. (updated 1990)
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