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Yurko Pozaiak

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Yurko Pozaiak

  • I’ve been to Leningrad,

    I’ve drank wine there.

    The wine in Leningrad

    Is totally shit!


    I’ve travelled abroad,

    I’ve drank brandy there –

    The brandy abroad –

    Is foul piss!


    There’s no better place to drink

    Than a quiet backyard

    In my dear Kyiv

    Late in the night.



    (Yurko Pozaiak. The Masterpieces: Selected Poems. Kyiv: V. I. M. A., 2013, p. 86.)

    The poem was composed in the second half of 1980s in Leningrad under the stimulus of slight nostalgia for Kyiv. It was aimed to glorify Kyivan backyards, where young people used to drink beverages as cafes and restaurants were rare and unreasonably expensive. Drinking in backyards and gateways was seen romantic bordering disorderly conduct. The backyard of the house #2 in Mykhailivska Street (at that time, Paris Commune Street) was especially popular due to a bohemian café nearby, known simply as ‘the one in Parcommune.’

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