Come to My Retreat
Featured Foreign Poet
Mykola BuchkoEditor's Note: I met Mykola Buchko in September 1999 in Cernivtsi City, where he proudly gave me his book of poetry, The Grey Eyes of My Town. On the first page Mykola inscribed a message (in Ukrainian) to express his delight over my interest in his culture. I was touched by his modest little book with a Ukrainian poem printed on one page and its English translation on the opposite. The obvious excitment and longing in Mykola's eyes (that an American was taking his poetry back to the United States) sparked my imagination. The result, one year later is the bilingual web site you are reading now. Thank you Mykola!
Mykola Ivanovych Buchko was born on August 19, 1948 in the village of Udych, Vinnychyna. He studied Ukrainian linguistics at the Chernvitsi State University and worked at the headquarters of newspapers and journals.
He has been writing poetry since he was ten years old. He has authored six books. Some of his works have been translated into foreign languages (English, Russian, Romanian, etc.). He has conceived several literary musical programs on state television as well as literary musical plays on the scene of the philharmonic society and theater named after O.Kobylyanska.
He has been working with talented youth, promotes the publications of gifted authors, he initiated the project of mutual translations of writers from different countries.
Today he is the chief editor of Chernivtsi Municipal Publishing Informational Center "Misto".
He has won several literary prizes and is a member of the National Writers' Society of Ukraine.
He lives in Chernivtsi at the following address: 58017 Chernivtsi, 11b Komarova St. Apt. 16, tel. 4 64 13
The following are six poems from The Grey Eyes of My Town
Living AloudLike children
stained by painful family memories,
over the stubble of consonants,
Dried by winds
Of long breathed vowels.
We learn to speak
SolitudeThe clock on the Town Hall stopped.
Passers-by did not notice.
They were praying for something,
or cursing something,
Queuing up for something.
Soul-toeing, not tiptoeing.
The Hand that Writes Poetry
treacherous with rocks,
yet black cherries too
bright in their naked purity
mirror its secrets.
I hear my mother's song
Houses are stone recollections,
Colors blossom in Light's narrow passage
To Olga KobylanskaWhy is that weed,
thin and prickly like
a silver spear,
so anxious to grow here?
Thunder roars from the
The truth is sunk
I do not pity
For SonFor a while I will escape
those pupils of my ancient town.
I'll hide my soul in a secret place
in labyrinths underground.
I see dark blue asphalt melt and flow,
For a while I'll run away
Mesmerized by light
As the University floats
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