A translation of an early Ukrainian war poem, a comment, and an invitation
I've donated to several fundraisers and charities for Ukraine, including Razom, Saint Javelin, and United24. But the one that is closest to my heart is Good Bread Bakery in Kyiv. Good Bread hires mentally handicapped people to bake bread and other goodies, and takes them not just to liberated towns and villages, but to some of the most dangerous areas of Ukraine. Every day they get into their vans packed with goodies and risk their very physical existence because they believe so strongly in Ukrainian civil society. When they suffer blackouts, they work around them. They always manage to work around obstacles and do what needs to be done. This is from the latest email I received from them: "We were in Zabachmutka, the most dangerous region of Bachmut. For the first time in two months, people got bread there.The only way to Zabachmutka is a crossing through the river Bachmutka. You need literally go by water. That’s why volunteers can’t come here and bring help to people. Moreover, the roads are washed out and only off-roaders have less chance to stick in the mud. You can see our way on the video" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsSbDjkwtuY). Here is their site if anyone wants to donate: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=WUNX7PBP2J6GQ and https://www.patreon.com/goodbread.
Donating to Good Bread helps me to turn my focus away from my own worries so that I can focus on what they've accomplished. And it does feel good to be a part of their community.
In a world full of fears and worries we come back again and again to the war in Ukraine because it is there that Evil is most open, most unashamed, most destructive. It must be fought and it must be defeated. Or we are all lost
Today’s raid in Germany to prevent a coup d’etat is proof that this is not just a Russian problem. It’s a war on democracy, and those of us who believe in democratic rights and obligations are already involved, whether we accept it or not. As someone born in the GDR and involved in the Monday demonstrations of 1989, I know which side I’m on.
Thanks, Dr. Snyder! I heard you read this poem during your lecture and at the time wished I could read it to ponder over its messages. And thank you for recommending ways to help. I have been donating to World Central Kitchen for their work in setting up food kitchens, but wasn’t sure which other organizations would truly use the money to benefit Ukraine rather than add to their own budget. So I was extremely pleased to be able to donate to an organization you recommended because I knew I could then trust that the money would benefit Ukraine.
Thank you so much for sharing this poem, which moved me to tears when you read it in your last lecture. We continue to support the work of World Central Kitchen and the International Rescue Committee - and pray daily for the people of Ukraine - as our small effort to act rather than spectate.
This is an amazing poem, which shouldn't have to be written.
For those who love music, want to help, and be inspired, Razom sponsored a concert of Ukrainian music at Carnegie Hall on December 2nd. You can still hear it and donate at https://www.carolofthebells100.org.
https://time.com/person-of-the-year-2022-volodymyr-zelensky/ ... I am delighted. Donated the fees of a conference, which I decided not to attend, plus the price of the accommodation I am not going to use. Choosing to watch the Yale lessons again - for free. Thank you, Ambassador Snyder.
"The way to relieve the sense of awkwardness is to do something to help." What a piercing, shining statement.
What phenomenal Class 23 (Yale).
Yes this is a wonderful poem (and takes me back to the poems by Levertov, Bly, and many other American poets in the ‘60s/70s, that raged against war, and declared the universal value and beauty of ordinary humanity)
Beautiful and grateful for your reading at the end of the last lecture on culture. To send generators, water purification systems and stoves direct to Kherson and other liberated towns on the front, also see https://ukraineaidinternational.org. They are going where many large NGOs can’t or won’t go.
I read the ways I might help Ukraine, and it was always a monetary gift. I have clothing. I want to connect by seeing more art. I could send a care box, to whom? Although I know my proposal is unrealistic, I just have to say that every time I'm moved to help, the price is always money sent. That is very unrewarding. I should give, even though it's unrewarding? But there's more to it than that. Cash is all the world ever asks of me. I have other ways to give.
Thank you so much for the class and for posting the poem you read in the class previous to the last one today. I follow her on FB and PEN and so appreciate the writing and the writers she has introduced to me over these past months. I hope that NATO will not let putin get away with "freezing" this war. As President Zelenskyy said so well in a speech last night "the Ukrainian people deserve victory". It is so important for all of us to work for that victory because Ukraine's victory will mean a victory for the whole free world, and for those who suffer to gain freedom in the fullest sense - which is certainly how Mr. Zelenskyy talks about freedom. I am looking forward to other lectures and your next book. May the work on it go well. In them meantime, blunting rf propaganda seems really an important thing to be working on now. I detest when local media use the rf language to describe what is going on, describing explosions inside russia as "escalation". We all need to sharpen up our minds and our language. Finally, the concert at Carnegie Hall on Sunday was fabulous. What a great thing that it was streamed. I wonder - if you read any of these comments, you might be able to put the Ukrainian and English translation of what we know as the "Carol of the Bells" on this site? It was brilliant to end your lecture today with reference to that song, and its Ukrainian meaning, and what happened to the composer. Thank you again for the lectures.
Thank you we have learned so much from the people of Ukraine this past year. With your guidance we have a much better understanding of where their resilience springs from I pray for peace in Ukraine
I just now saw and heard the last lecture from Yale! Thank you so very much for these lectures. I intend to go through them again. Have read many of the books you listed in the syllabus for the class. I heard you read the poem in the last class and felt stunned by its fierceness and the challenge to not just look on from a distance. I too have been supporting Razom, United24, and Ukrainian World Congress among other organizations. I see below others have offered additional places to contribute. I listened to President Zelenskyy's brief speech this morning to the Madeleine Albright Institute (name escapes me) which he gave in English with Ukrainian subtitles. I hope everyone will go to his website or to his FB page and listen to what he said about the dictator that cannot admit when he has made a mistake. I hope the folks in leadership will not let this war get "frozen" so putin has time to resupply and mount heavier and worse attacks on Ukraine. In my opinion it is is long past time for NATO (soon to be written nato) to step up and make this aggression stop. The Ukrainians are showing their incredible intelligence, resourcefulness, and ability to make things happen to change the way the world works. Getting out of the '70s is a really great way of understanding where the world has been stuck for so long. Thank you again for the course, and I am looking forward to your next book!
Prof. Snyder I cannot not feel like a spectator in this horror even though we have donated three times directly to three different groups and will continue to do so even indirectly to NGO's that solicit during this "time of giving" So giving does not alleviate this feeling, not for long.
I wish we would not hold off giving the superior weapons needed as well as humanitarian aid. I have to trust, I guess.
The poem Julia Musakovska is awesome even in translation. It's simple description and truth, so plain.
I follow your Yale class lectures, as many are, including the wonderful guest lectures, right up to the last #22 so far. The poems that you had to too quickly read seemed so despondent but I have to listen again. I appreciate names of voices to discover (Zhadan and others) but Gogol short stories (and Dead Souls) to begin.
It's so true that creativity even in a time of war, or especially, is so necessary, so "there" for survival, to grab on to some beauty about life even in the worst of it. The photographs have been amazing; the images that are captured are art even in the horror, and keep us close.
Trying to correct the Russian version of history is a formidable task. I can only hope that your work keeps reverberating as it appears to be now.
Thank you, to you for all your efforts and to Yale for making this course available.