…from the quill of the live white poetress
Irina Georgievna Ratushinskaya (1954 – )
Don’t attempt to coerce,
If a boy flies the nest and bereaves you -
write it off as a loss, you exemplary homeland and nurse!
You are quick to forget how to bless your own son as he leaves you,
And instead you have learned the cruel art of pronouncing a curse!
What you put in your bread -
So that no one looks elsewhere for savour,
How you loose on the trail your swift dogs and their practical art,
And poverty, jail and nightmare asylum for ever -
Cease to harp on those strings.
We have studied and learned them by heart.
Those with wide-spreading wings,
Who from birth have been stubborn and awkward -
Don’t attempt to coerce, using bribes or the menacing word -
We’re not reached by such things.
We leave and go onward and onward…
People say that a shot in the back simply cannot be heard.
/From Grey is the Colour of Hope/
[I.G.Ratushinskaya was born in Odessa on 4th March, 1954. In 1976 she received a physics degree and then she taught at the Odessa Pedagogical Institute. She started writing poetry and joined the Orthodox Church. Her frequent arrests for anti-Soviet agitation culminated in a sentence of seven years in a labor camp, followed by five years of internal exile. She was released in October, 1986, on the eve of Reykjavík summit between Reagan and Gorbachev. In 1987, Irina moved to the United States, and in the same year she was deprived of Soviet citizenship. Later she lived in London, UK and in 1998 she returned to Russia.]