Poetry Saturday: Serhiy Zhadan

Excerpt from Alcohol

— translated by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps

On the terrace the left-over cups of tea
are filling up with rain water
and cigarette butts,
you and I share a cold
you and I share long conversations —
you don’t notice the morning rain
you go to sleep late
and you wake up late
I write poems about how I love
this woman, and I invent
newer and newer words
to avoid
telling her.

Serhiy Zhadan is the most popular poet of the post-independence generation in Ukraine. His work speaks to the disillusionment, difficulties, and ironies brought by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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