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born in Kyiv in 1955; knew rudimentary English until seven years ago when he began learning
it in earnest;
was introduced to poetry by his late father when he was in his early teens
and has never lost a keen liking for it. Mr Knyr has published some of his poems written in English in the USA. In 1998,
he won the BBCís
poetical contest.
He is an engineer,
working at the Ukrainian Fire Safety Research Institute of the Ministry
of Internal Affairs.
His favourite poet
is Taras Shevchenko.
His most devoted
supporter is his mother.
His most severe literary critic is his son.
And his one and only muse is his beloved wife.

  ***
Dear and poor UkraineÖ
Tinted, renewed anew
(maybe again in vain),
youíre on the globe now.
    You,
very accustomed to
being one elseís part
now seem free, my heart
flattened, then torn in two
and sewn along the Dnieper
by that not sober snipper.

***
The Ukraine...

The terrain
full of worked out deposits of oil.
And the grain
rotting right on the fertile soil.
(Worth your toil and moil.)

And the rain
drowning people in acid and lye.
And a brain
pumped with shameless and insolent lie.
(While your sleeping dogs lie.)

And a crane
stiff with cold like itís gone to its rest.
And a crane
leaving home, its homelike nest.
(For the South, the West.)

And the train,
runaway that so often off the rails.
And the drain
of the brain that alas, never fails.
(Clearance sales).

The Ukraine...

***
Seeming alone at night
Don't be afraid of it.
You're not alone, let wit.
God is with you, your Light.

***
The single question sometimes
ransacks my tireless brain
if someone in English rhymes
wrote about Ukraine.
Again Iím at my bookshelf
and thereís no result again.
Nobody, I calm myself,
rhymed about Ukraine.
But if even there were such
rhymers in that your West
I think Ukraineís worth much
more.
So I do the best.

***
ďWhereíre you from?Ē sounds like a refrain.
I see these locals just wonder at
my silence.
    Iíve heard they know, say, Bahrain
but not my country.
    They donít know that
the biggest freight planes, the firstest missiles,
the oddest navy, the fastest tanks
(not faster though than our govíts dismissals),
the weakest leaders of highest ranks,
the cheapest women (we all know why),
the richest soils under poorest masters,
the worst one of all the nuke disasters,
the strongest vaulter and silent I
are from a country thatís named Ukraine.
ďWhereíre you from?Ē sounds like a refrain.

***
Ukraine has its national emblem and paean.
And itís geographically European.
Anon in a little bit longer than aeon
itíll be economically European.

***
Weíre Orthodox. Our orthodoxy is
not conformism and faithfulness at present.
Its businesslikeness makes it like the biz.
Its multiplicity makes us quite pleasant.
But being none the less in lowest spirits
we look for and at last prefer by far
the lowest pub, the lowest low bar
for finding the desired public spirits.

***
Sinner's Confession

I believe
That Iíll leave
This world soon.
        But Iíll try
        Not to cry
        For the moon.
Iíll be put
With my foot
Foremost.
        And Iíll hit
        Just the pit
        Free of cost.
But I know
There is no
Thing to sing.
        All I did
        (God forbid!)
        Was a sin.
And I'm nerved.
I've deserved
Such a dole.
         In a word,
         Dear Lord,
         Bless my soul.

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