"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

"Without an informed public, the democracy will cease to exist."

The Patriot Press

Take a Poll!

Is the traffic in the school lot better this year than last year?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
View All

Building Bridges Through Poetry

Ukrainian students talk literature with seniors at Hills
Mrs. Venti

In room 223 with Mr. Perkins, Wayne Hills seniors (and other students who would be considered as college students in Ukraine) and a few students from Rivne, Ukraine come together through Google Meet. Through the universal language of poetry, they hope they would be able to break cultural barriers and find common ground.

All students’ names will be excluded to protect privacy.

The students are studying the works of Serhiy Zhadan, a Ukrainian poet and novelist. More specifically, “They Buried Their Son Last Winter,” and “To Know that You Still Lie There Beyond the Scorched Mountain” translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin.

When asking the students of Ukraine if any lines in particular held particular significance in the latter poem, two students spoke up about Zhadan’s words: “Perhaps I am not the only one who mourns, perhaps.”

One student from Wayne Hills said, “I think this is referring to the other people in the world, the people who aren’t directly affected but still feel sorrow for those suffering in Ukraine.”

Another said in response, “Most of our people feel the same way, so this poem is quite relatable for most of our country. Many families in Ukraine and the relatives that they have are suffering every day.”

The poem “They Buried Their Son Last Winter” reflects on the aftermath of war and the impact it has on individuals and communities. It begins with the burial of a son who had been a former soldier so the author, Zhadan, questions the purpose of the son’s fighting and despairs in the fact that he cannot ask him directly, as he was buried without his head. It shows themes of loss, remembrance, helplessness, and the struggle for forgiveness amidst the devastation of war.

Another question that was posed during this discussion was: “What is the message of the poem?”

A student from Ukraine said, “I think it is about the importance of the people who gave their lives. We should understand them and not forget about them. We can live tomorrow, but they don’t always have that opportunity.”

This student sends money to different charities and organizations supporting Ukraine with her mother.

In fact, Mrs. Ventimiglia, an assistant principal and head of the English department of Wayne Hills added: “I was struck by the fact that there was so much unresolved tension. There’s still so much uncertainty. Being unable to, for the speaker, to resolve some questions that he may have about the soldier that passed. There is still a human being on each side who mourned and died.”

One must admire the bravery and courage of all Ukrainian people during these hard times.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Patriot Press Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *