Poetry Friday: Ivan Malkovych

The Man

translated from the Ukrainian by Olena Jennings

He puts on a jester’s mask —
they recognize him.

He dresses in the robe of a merciless judge —
they implore:
“Stop it, you can’t fool us.”

He changes into a fox —
they yell:
“We recognized you long ago.

He wraps himself in Don Juan’s cloak —
they laugh:
“Wrong style.”

He stretches on a chameleon’s mask —
and tears off that facade himself:

lost man —
he can’t understand
that every mask
has a slit
for eyes.

  • Malkovych, who lives and works in Kyiv, is the author of seven poetry collections. His poetry has been translated into English, German, Italian, Russian, Polish, Bengali, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Georgian, Slovak, and Slovenian.

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