Essay, Current_Event, Thought

Why We Resemble Those Who Have Been Killing Us Since Time Began

So ended a poem by a writer killed by a Russian missile

***image: Daniel Mordzinski/Hay Festival. source: The Economist
image: Daniel Mordzinski/Hay Festival. source: The Economist

The Economist, July 13 issue, Obituary, "Victoria Amelina explored a land of atrocities and secrets," is a lovely, thoutful tribute to a young Ukranian writer who risked (and lost) her life interviewing and writing about the women victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

What caught my attention, admiration, and awe was the poem she wrote for her new, almost-finished book, “War and Justice Diary: Looking at Women Looking at War."

In a barren springtime field
Stands a woman dressed in black
Crying her sisters’ names
Like a bird in the empty sky
She’ll cry them all out of herself
...She’ll cry them all into the ground
As though sowing the field with pain
...She will stay in this field for ever
Because only this cry of hers
Holds all those swallows in the air.

Does it require war to bring out this tenderness in people?


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