Poetry touches people in the deepest way, and I have always believed in the power of words, whether they are spoken aloud, read or written. As the world witnesses the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and we feel a crushing sense of helplessness in the face of such heartbreak and destruction, we are in need of great words, and great beauty, to keep hope and move forward.
I was so moved to read this article in the Telegraph, which describes the beautiful moment when Zhenya Perepelitsa, a Ukrainian soldier who lived in Tehran for a while, recited a verse of Persian poetry in Farsi. The footage was recorded by the American photographer Alex Lourie, on Feburary 28th near Kyiv. The poem, written by Hamid Mosadegh, is called: “Who will tell you the news of my death?”. I encourage you the read it below.
At times I wonder
Who will tell you the news of my death?
The moment when you hear of my death, from someone
I wish I could see your beautiful face
Shrugging your shoulders, carefree
Waving your hands — it’s no matter
Nodding your head, “Wow! He died! How sad!”
I wish I could see it
I ask myself
Who would believe
Your love burned to ashes
The jungle of my soul
Poetry lives on, even on the battlefield.
This year, World Poetry Day coincided with International Day of Colour, a celebration that focuses on the role and impact of colours in our lives. These days, my heart bears the colours of Ukraine: blue, which symbolises a clear blue sky, and yellow which alludes to Ukraine’s golden fields.