Tag Archives: Ukraine

Ilya Kaminsky, poet of our time, born in Ukraine

Poem by Ilya Kaminsky

A Toast

To your voice, a mysterious virtue,

to the 53 bones of one foot, the four dimensions of breathing,

 

to pine, redwood, sworn fern, peppermint,

to hyacinth and bluebell lily,

 

to the train conductor’s donkey on a rope,

to smells of lemons, a boy pissing splendidly against the trees.

 

Bless each thing on earth until it sickens,

until each ungovernable heart admits: “I confused myself

 

and yet I loved — and what I loved

I forgot, and what I forgot brought glory to my travels,

 

to you I traveled as close as I dared, Lord.”

 

Reprinted courtesy of the author and The Academy of American Poets website www.poets.org