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We return slowly to the earth, our cradle.

Green tangles of vegetation bind us, two fettered chords.

The razor sharp axe of sun hews at a trunk,

The music of moss, tenderness of the breeze, the oak a proud idol.


In the wastage of days that bear us the body, warm and obedient

Grows with itself, two siblings, two flowers of fidelity.

The moss warms us like cat fur. You transform the stars into a murmur

And blood into music and greenery. The sky glows.


At the edge of day, in the ocean of heaven, the winds of the future sleep

And our devoted constellations wait under the frost,

While earth does not instruct them to arise. We abandon things,

To be borne, to grasp the stars in pure ecstasy.


The yearning of blood hurts. Eyebrows sharp as two arrows,

While above us a wall of melody echoes

The pinions of a breeze. Our fate pinned on the planets.

You burn with growth, thirsty as the earth. Become all music.


Bohdan Ihor Antonych


Translated by Stephen Komarnyckyj


First published in Modern Poetry in Translation Issue: Series 3 No.14 - Polyphony. In May 2016 Kalyna Language Press was awarded a PEN Translates grant to finance Steve Komarnyckyj's translations of Antonych. The book ,  Night Music, was published on 5 October 2016 and is available through all good bookshops, amazon, and numerous other outlets. Click here to read more and find out about a few places where you can buy the book.


Publication Date: 5 October 2016

ISBN:  9780993197277

125 pages.

9780993197277-Perfect 3on 171016-Fin2-page-Front