Sunday, March 23, 2014

Odessa, Ukraine: My Poetic Tribute


In the wake of the conflict plaguing southern Ukraine, I've been reflecting on the two months I spent studying in Odessa during the summer of 2011.

As I prepare to fly back to Finland, the past few weeks of spring cleaning in my parents' garage has had me going through boxes of foreign language books and memoires I've brought home as trophies from my adventures.  Tucked away in the back of a notebook filled with grammar exercises, I found the following poem I once scribbled and a few telltale grains of sand - remnants of a summer spent writing and reading Russian books on the beaches of Odessa.

map: CNN


Young Ukrainian girls play along the shores of the Black Sea in Odessa
















Одесса
великолепный город на берегу Чёрного моря
модные Одесситы на пляже
улитцы спокойные
никогда далеко дома.
Туристы у тебя
думают о следующем раз
даже прежде чем они уехали.
В террассах, тянующих вдоль дорожек
люди довольны своей отпуск потягивают фрещов
на самые жаркие дней лета.


A couple watches the sunset from a marina in Yalta, a port city on the southern tip of the Crimean peninsula



















Odessa
magnificent city on the Black Sea
fashionable Odessites on the beach
easygoing streets
never far from home.
Your tourists
think about their next visit
before they've even left.
On terraces ...
people, content with their vacations, sip fresh juices
on the hottest days of summer.

"Stairs of History" in a historic neighborhood near my home in Odessa


Locals and tourists flock to the shore in Yalta to watch the sunset along the promenade


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