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We are birds in migration from this world to that.
(That sounds coarse, like the German Tod.)
And when our hour is announced‚
When our season nears its end‚
A true compass awakens inside us
And shows the world’s fifth point.
Invisible wings flutter nervously
And the inner gaze slowly turns
In bitter longing‚ as if prophetic‚
Toward the garden it knows: it
Sees miracles‚ and longing
Lengthens‚ doubled‚ as
The caravans fly off.
Elena Shvarts published sixteen books of poetry and prose, plus a four-volume collected works during her lifetime. She was a major figure in the Leningrad underground and became widely known and translated after the fall of the Soviet Union.
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But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.