Poet Alexander Korotko: Friends joked: And you complain that you are not printed? Open any newspaper, and therewill be – Briefly about the different




In Kiev, the author presented a book of aphorisms “The Future Revisits the Past” 

Poems of the famous Kiev poet Alexander Korotko translated into many languages: English, French, German, Polish, Hebrew, Greek and, of course, Ukrainian … On the stage they are brilliantly recited by Sergei Yursky. And there are songs in the words of Alexander Korotko in the repertoire of Alexander Malinin, Tamara Gverdtsiteli, Nikolay Karachentsov, Philip Kirkorov, Ekaterina Buzhinskaya, Irina Skazina, Nikolay Svidyuk. They were performed by Yuri Bogatikov.

The new book by Alexander Šimonović “The future revisits the past” is unusual. It consists of aphoristic miniatures-one lines. For example, “He chased a fly until forgave it», «Indeed, he had hoped… but for what, he did not remember.», «He got on his feet and then had taken to bed», «He had a straight talk… but it was with the wrong people.», «He looked for what was necessary in unnecessary places», «At quarter past nine the legs of time did a split»… And there are even more short: « He passed the point of “already”», «His lateness was serendipitously timely».


On the eve of the presentation of the book “FACTY” talked with its author. 

– Alexander Šimonović, I’ve read your book “The future revisits the past” in one breath. The paradoxical name … 

– I believe that our whole life is paradoxical. I’m not sure that time moves only from the past to the present and the future. It seems to me sometimes this movement is from the future to the present and the past. Many things that seemed to us forever forgotten, come back. I remember my childhood. Up to six years I lived with my grandmother in Korosten. As now I hear the crackling of logs in the oven, I see our purring cat, which sits down at my feet on a winter evening and warms them. Sometimes it seems to me that all this is a dream, I’ll wake up – and everything will return to normal … Time is now moving at an incredible speed. Many people notice this. And my one-line poems are the reflection of this dynamic. Every line I have is a novel. To place it in one sentence or phrase is a filigree work. Aphorism is a very complex genre. You need to always get into the top ten. From the five thousand one-lines that I wrote in ten years, in the book I introduced nine hundred and fifty to the reader.


– How are the aphorisms born? 

– Aphorisms, like any kind of literary creation, have a divine basis. In addition to poetic talent, one must have the talent to work. Inspiration? I do not believe in it. I work every day. The most productive time for me is from four to five o’clock in the morning to eight. Silence and loneliness are all that I need for creativity. But, on the other hand, our lives are meetings. And creativity is a meeting with the Almighty. This miracle can happen only when you rush to it, rise spiritually. So it seems to me …


– Your poems are read by Sergei Yursky. How did you meet him?


– It seems to me that the shortest path to the goal is direct. I sent some of my texts to Sergei Yursky, and he included them into his repertoire. Great actor, great master! He writes poetry and prose by himself. Originally, my poems were to be performed by Mikhail Kozakov, but his illness prevented him. He came to Kiev and asked to see Bulgakov’s museum. He sat in front of the car, me – from behind. We talked about poetry and poets. When we remembered Brodsky, Kozakov read his poetry by heart for about an hour. It’s unforgettable! 

– I really liked your aphorism “His lateness was serendipitously timely” … Did this happen to you?


–  And more than once. The Lord keeps – somewhere stops you, delays, somewhere does not let you go. After all, every day, every moment of being on Earth is a miracle. To live, create, communicate with people, comprehend this world – all these are miracles. One of them is that I became a poet. Having graduated from the Odessa Institute of National Economy, changing positions and professions, I clearly understood that poetry is primary for me. I’ve been writing since I was six! There were breaks in creativity. But I always felt myself a poet. Today I have more than twenty poetry collections.                             

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Чернее черного чернила на черный лист ночей легло

чистописание чудес. Ты рядом в снах моих служила,

ты их сильней меня любила, не надо мной, над ними

ты черным вороном кружила, и ворожила, ворожила,

и заколдованной зимой снежинки таяли, как звезды,

и воздух был так невесом, и я не знал, что ты со мной,

что ночью поздней ты льешь отчаянные слезы, а я-то

думал, это сон.


– I know that one of your co-authors is the famous composer Vyacheslav Dobrynin .


– Yes, with him we for Philip Kirkorov created a hit “Eh, the road.” Recorded at the studio “Melody”. Kirkorov liked the song very much. I came to his house, knew his mother – the smartest woman with biblical eyes. Philip was at that time only 25 years old. And for Tamara Gverdtsiteli with the Kiev composer Inna Pushkar we wrote four songs: “I am a mystery”, “The wounded sky”, “White flock”, “People are not gods” … Tamara’s Gverdtsiteli modesty and insecurity strike me. By the way, her mother is a native of Odessa. Alexander Malinin, whom I, as to Yursky, sent my texts, wrote music for my poems “Moonlight Sonata”. This song many years ago he successfully performed on the “Blue Light”. I never wrote a word for music. It’s always the other way around.


– Have the poems ever came to you in a dream?


– And more than once. Earlier in the morning, I wrote them from memory. And now I’m not risking – I wake up and immediately take a pencil in my hands. You know, poets always see more than others, they feel deeper. 

– Creativity of which poets do you like?


– I like Mandelshtam, early Mayakovsky, Shevchenko, Tsvetaeva, Lesya Ukrainka … Each of them is a genius.


 In One-line poems genre, as I see it, you are close to Igor Guberman, Vladimir Vishnevsky, Zhvanetski … But you seem to be the first in shorts : « Born in a cabbage patch», « He vegetated on his yacht.», « The goldfinch strutted high and mighty»… How could it be shorter?


– Indeed, there is nowhere to be shorter.


– No wonder – your surname is Korotko.


– You see how everything turned out (smiles).  Friends joked: And you complain that you are not printed? Open any newspaper, and there will be – “Briefly about the different”.  I confirmed my surname (laughs). 

– Sergei Yursky said that you are a poet of a rare, high note. Andrei Voznesensky called you an innovator, an impressionist in poetry. And Pavlo Zagrebelny noted that your poems are not for reading aloud, but for contemplation, that they allow you to live not in the petty vanity of everyday life, but in that great solitude where we remain people in the highest sense of the word.


– They are all amazing people. Voznesensky wrote the preface to my ironic poem “Zare to meet.” And Pavlo Arkhipovich opened a “Poetic Evening for Two” at the Franko Theater where I and Bella Akhmadulina read my poems. We often met at his countryhouse. Somehow, talked, drank vodka, had a snack of potatoes with onions and herring. I was sitting in his office in the luxurious armchair given to him by Paradzhanov. And suddenly, pointing to one of the paintings hanging on the wall, he said: “This is the work of Ivan Marchuk. I give it to you. «I tried to protest that I would not accept such an expensive gift. But Pavlo Arkhipovich insisted on his own mind. And now it reminds me of that meeting.


 – I heard that you have traveled halfway around the world. What country and what particularly struck you?


–  You know, I’m a big fan of painting. I know the capitals of countries and cities in museums. I can say in which hall is this or that masterpiece. My favorite artists are Peter Bruegel and Durer. And I love classical music. It always accompanies me. Favorite composer is Igor Stravinsky. I dedicated one of my poems to him, which ends like this: “And words will grow in my mind with your silence” …


– What are you working on now?


– I write novels and prepare for publication a collection of selected poetry. Here is one of the new poems:


* * *

Под копирку черной ночи

необжитых страшных лет

дождь, небес разнорабочий,

шлет из прошлого привет.


И машинка у окна,

айсберг слов неукротимых,

пальцами дождя, одна,

бьет чечетку снов любимых.


Боль сочится по стеклу

пытками воспоминаний,

а в заброшенном углу

кукол слышатся стенанья.


Где, в какой стране зимы,

гнет осенний память гложет,

вырастают дни из тьмы

и становятся моложе.


I hope that in the near future my poem on the biblical theme “Joseph and Yaakov” will also be published. And in the plans – to spend a great creative evening. Time is now difficult, many say: it is not the poetry time. But, you know, it depends on the point of view. Remember the beginning of the last century. Revolution, civil war … And what poets did during this period! And now a fertile time for real poets who do not expect dividends from their poems. Now write those who cannot write. Everything is very simple. Poetry is a spiritual sphere where one should not look for benefits. 

– Which of the aphorisms you have in your new book is your favorite?


– “Refused to go to the last path” and “I missed” Wow! “My life credo is to love life, rejoice in every moment of it and, of course, do well.