Bury what’s left of me near | home. What’s done needs to be done.
Word is, to get free requires | even the meek to shoot back.
Go soak your broken shackles | in some bogus tyrant’s blood.
But spare those you leave behind | a last kind line, if you can.
Reworked from Taras Shevchenko’s “Testament” (1845),
28 February 2022
This four-line impromptu translates, very loosely, and expands upon some lines extracted from "Testament" (Zapovit), a poem by the nineteenth-century Ukrainian bard (Kobzar, in Ukrainian, which I don't speak or read) and artist Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), who was born near Kyiv and who died in St. Petersburg, in the Russian Empire. The poem is known by heart by many in the Ukrainian diaspora. I'm thinking, also, of John K. Samson's songs derived from the experiences of Ukrainian-Canadians, of Geeshie Wiley, of Joe Strummer, and of the beatitudes, and of today's events around the invasion of Ukraine.