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Articles tagged "Belarusian Literature"

On Uladzimir Niakliaeu

I recently read something that amused me: one poet was suggesting that we name a steamship after every one of his contemporaries. In his imagination, all his friends from the literary world took the shape of a liner, a yacht, or a sailing ship, or even a cruiser. They sailed through the ocean and made a powerful fleet. How about some nuclear submarines with poets’ names on them, too? . . .  And then I read Uladzimir Niakliaeu’s new book. And what I found there was not a...

The City and the Writer: In Minsk with Valzhyna Mort

If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains. —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Minsk as you feel/see it? Minsk is not a city of moods. Rebuilt from the ground after World War II, it is measured out in perfect squares, with wide streets balanced out by long, tall buildings, and populated by gigantic statues and...

Parting, a scene

"Parting," first published in Hebrew in 1914, revolves around the biblical injunction (and the Jewish custom) that a man must marry and support his brother's widow. However, in later times, as bigamy was outlawed, wives were made to divorce their dying husbands. . . . then the sun began to set. And it sent its last rays to the window of the terminally ill man. The rays shone through the latticed curtain, and flecks of light collected on the wall near the bed. . . . The room was...

“maybe you too sometimes fantasize”

maybe you too sometimes fantasize that god resembles your most difficult teacher the one who never gave the highest mark one day he invites your parents to school and who knows what he is telling them there perhaps that any further effort is now futile because you're never going to graduate from life with honors maybe something different something completely and utterly different but when this talk is done your parents never come back maybe they're ashamed now a boy...

“What would I wish for”

What would I wish for to be a small freckle on the wind's nose to ride in a convertible beside a middle-aged man a teenager will do it's as if everything that has happened is nothing but Customs which you have to pass through in order to get into summer god has tossed a coin inside me as if I were a pond and made a wish and lingered in the air and everything belongs to me but hope and the mountains are kneeling like runners at the starting line their...

Men

Men arrive like a date on a calendar they keep visiting once a month men who've seen the bottom of the deepest bottles kings of both earth and heaven and like the pearls from a torn necklace trembling I scatter at their touch their heartbeats open doors vessels respond to their voice commands and wind licks their faces like a crazy dog and gallops after their train and roams they undress me as if undressing themselves and hold me in their arms like a saxophone and oh this...

Belarusian

II even our mothers have no idea how we got here how we parted their legs and crawled out into the world the way you crawl from the ruins after a bombing we couldn't tell which of us was a girl or a boy and we gorged on dirt thinking it was bread and our future a gymnast on a thin thread of the horizon was performing there at the highest pitch bitch we grew up in a country where first your door is stroked with chalk and then at dark a chariot arrives and no one...

The Happiness of Also Refusing Happiness

The happiness of refusing happiness The joy of refusing joy Passionately keeping passion back Proudly breaking pride in ecstasy. Night in the forest on trouble's path All rustling has become one tree One secret calling cry for help One star glowing, a small eye. What's sense here? I don't know why-- Still walking, now I'm at the door Chaos behind. The door's a lamp Inside the cry of help before. The mussar house inside of me Murmurs, mirage of...

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