Thursday, November 17, 2022

The onion is in wonderment

He who sings scares away his woes.

Happy Poetry Friday! Two poems today. A Ukrainian children's song for the young-at-heart crowd and one for high school and up.

The Fish Was Dancing with the Crayfish

The fish was dancing with the crayfish,
And the parsley with the parsnip
And the onion with the garlic
And the girl with the Kozak!
The onion is in wonderment at
How good they were dancing.

The pumpkin walks around the garden,
Inquiring like this:
Oh, are they alive and healthy,
All my melon relatives?
The yellow melon answered,
Oh, I'm your hostess,
The cucumbers answered,
And we are your sons and daughters!

The beets answered,
Cousin pumpkins:
All are alive and well,
All your melon relatives.

Танцювала риба з раком,
А петрушка з пастернаком,
А цибуля з часником,
А дівчина з козаком!
Цибуля дивується,
Як хороше танцюється.

 Ходить гарбуз по городу –
 Питається свого роду:
 – Ой чи живі, чи здорові,
 Всі родичі гарбузові,
 Обізвалась жовта диня:
 – Ой я твоя господиня;
 Обізвались огірочки:
 – А ми твої сини й дочки!

 Обізвались буряки,
 Гарбузові свояки:
 – Усі живі і здорові,
 Всі родичі гарбузові!

by Jason Shinder

A poem written three thousand years ago

about a man who walks among horses
grazing on a hill under the small stars

comes to life on a page in a book

and the woman reading the poem
in her kitchen filled with a gold, metallic light

finds the experience of living in that moment

so vividly described as to make her feel known
to another, until the woman and the poet share

not only their souls but the exact silence

between each word. And every time the poem is read,
no matter her situation or her age,

this is more or less what happens.


Jama Rattigan has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Jama!

I tried to have the photo of the Ukrainian trident suncatcher link to the Etsy shop but it didn't work. Here's the link -- I love mine!


Sally Murphy said...

Oh Tabatha - what a pair. I love the joy of the singing and the humour of the words of the first poem. And then the second one hit me hard - that image of a poem reaching across 1000 years to make the reader feel it. I know that feeling! Thank you.

Linda B said...

I love the idea of the children's poem, the vegetables looking out for one another, then another connection over years and years, in that second poem. Michelle wrote of connections, too. Perhaps that is a way of this coming holiday? Thanks, Tabatha, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving this week!

Michelle Kogan said...

I love the exuberance in the first poem and song, and the energy in the singing, what wonderful playfulness1! And that shared moment when the women and poet come together in the second poem, how moving, thanks Tabatha!

KatApel - said...

Such zest in that song-poem. (If the translation wasn't given I would think it involved a thrum of horse hooves.) And I can so relate to that second poem. So often I have heard a poem read aloud and it's like the reader has crawled into my head and read it as I do. Poetry is such a gift to the reader.

Irene Latham said...

Isn't being in wonderment one of the best ways to be?? Especially if you're an onion. :) Thank you, Tabatha! xo

jama said...

Enjoyed the lively, upbeat Ukrainian song - so fun! And the second one is just beautiful. Isn't that why writers write, though -- to communicate across time and place?

Karen Eastlund said...

All your melon relatives... love it! Food for thought, haha. Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

laurasalas said...

What a combo of poems! Poems can hold any emotion in the world, can't they? Thanks, Tabatha.

Sarah Grace Tuttle said...

Thank you so much for this post Tabatha! I love getting to see the original text and translated text side by side-- even if I don't speak the language, I love looking for patterns of letters to get an idea of any rhyme schemes and meter. And then to get to hear it sung as well! Thank you. And, happy Poetry Friday!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Thank you for reminding us of the scope of experience and talent in & from Ukraine, Tabatha - it's natural to focus only on the horrific stress of war. And that second poem - wow. Timeless and beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Here's a hot take--what about the second poem also for children? I might have wanted someone to tell me that "the woman and the poet share//not only their souls but the exact silence//between each word."

Maybe we should do that for the one or two kids in every group who are craving that connection.

I hope you are doing well, my melon relative, and thanks for commenting on my poems/ms. It was really helpful.

Karen Edmisten said...

The onion is in wonderment (love that so much) and so am I. :)

And I'm swooning over "Eternity." Sometimes I like to picture heaven as the place where I'll get to meet every poet who ever shared their soul with me.

Linda Mitchell said...

That's a kooky Ukranian poem! But, I love it--so many vegetables caring about each other's welfare. LOL.
And, the Jason Shinder goodness...that's the whole enchilada right there. It's what we all are trying to do when we write. Thanks for that. It is the gold standard of poetry.

Patricia Franz said...

Such a fun, silly song for kids; I would love to see their faces as they listen or sing it. And the second poem haunts. Thank you for sharing these!