Home > Uncategorized > Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Ukrainian writers on war

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Lesya Ukrainka
From an untitled poem (1890)
Translated by Gladys Evans

“You’re lucky children, to be born
In such a peaceful time, to live so carefree.
You listen to my talk of past wild times
As if it were some frightening fairy tale.
Yes, children! Once our beautiful free world
Seemed like a prison to people then alive.

And brothers fought each other, waging war.
But do you understand that word called war?
Those days they gave fratricide the name of war.
Called it saving truth, liberty, faith and power –
And all that bloodshed they said was heroism!”

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