TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Young Ukrainian Poets: Kateryna Balashova

Tati Translates Kateryna Balashova

Literary classics aren’t always created by the greying elder statesmen and women of the writing world. You know the ones. They’re all wise and wrinkly and impassive, and woe betide the scholar who dares mount an honest critique of their bodies of work.

You see, literary classics are also written by upstart youngsters. These youngsters are full of vitality and creativity. They live fully awake and fully aware during these very difficult times. Nothing escapes their notice and they’re unafraid to share what they really think. They walk among us right now, breathing, smiling and crying, loving and hating, experiencing the full range of their humanity without apology.

This series presents names that you won’t find in textbooks or on Wikipedia, but these are the very youngsters who are creating modern Ukrainian literature right now. Trust us, you will want to check them out because it’s only a matter of time before they become household names. When we go back to these writers in two hundred years, we have no doubt that they’ll be mentioned in the same breath as luminaries such as Taras Shevchenko and Lesya Ukrainka.


sometimes i like finding myself in a room
with no clocks
observing how i’m growing human slowly
in an expanded space with no rhythm
feeling my hands immersed in their work
scenting my very presence
and my slender stance, like a dial’s needle
no one has seen that, but
when sunlight is pouring down my collar
i lay my shadow on the floor
and so align my next step


часом люблю опинитися в кімнаті
без годинників
і дивитися як я поволі олюднююся
в розширеному просторі без ритму
чуючи власні руки занурені в працю
відчуваючи запах своєї присутності
й тонкість постави як стрілку компаса
ніхто цього не побачить але
коли сонце ллється за комір
я вкладаю свою тінь на підлогу
і так визначаю наступний крок


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19 thoughts on “TATI’S TRANSLATIONS // Young Ukrainian Poets: Kateryna Balashova

    • Tati informs me that Ukrainian is one of the harder languages to learn. And, like you, I always wanted to read Ukrainian too, but I’ve always found the idea of learning the language quite intimidating if I’m honest!


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