Quarter of the Celestials
The theater of Ukrainian drama named after Ivan Franko is famous for its talented directors. On its stage often are interesting foreign grastroller. On the eighth of December the theater was given poetry. The evening was called “Quartrel of the Celestials” at the crowded hall, evoking happy memories of the seventies, when the poets were gathering their stadiums for their performances. It was gratifying to see that poetry is still in demand at the turn of the century, in our divided world.

The evening was opened by the patriarch of Ukrainian literature Pavlo Zagrebelny. He said that the possibilities of the soul are immense if it is in its possessions. A possession of the poet – a word. Representing poets who were supposed to perform – Bella Akhmadulina, Alexander Korotko and Alexander Tkachenko, – the master found exact and capacious words.

By the way, Pavlo Zagrebelny has written a remarkable opening address to the new book of poems by Alexander Korotko “Uncolored dreams.” Boris Chip translated the verses very well into the Ukrainian language. The book came out of print a few days ago and was still breathing fresh typographic paint. It’s a pity that no one from the scene even thought about it, because in our time the publication of a new book is not an ordinary event. The first two hundred copies were sold in the foyer of the theater and were sold out all to one …

The first to enter the stage, as if to “warm up” the public, Muscovite Alexander Tkachenko – a former footballer of the Crimean “Tavria”. He read the poems “with the feeling of the ball and the glade” and the expression of admiration for the Ukrainian football player Shevchenko. In the excerpts of the poem about Chernobyl, written by Tkachenko in the year of the tragedy, the tone of his teacher Andrei Voznesensky was felt, and this, apparently, prevented taking the form of the poem as experimental, to which she seemed to be claiming …

Everyone who writes about Alexander Korotko emphasizes that he, say, paraphrasing AK. Tolstoy, for two camps is not a casual guest, but a fighter. But this is so, by the way. After all, the theatrical scene was not the deputy minister of health of Ukraine, but the poet. It should be noted that Alexander Korotko’s poems contain a lot of good songs performed by the idols of pop music lovers – Iosif Kobzon, Alexander Malinin, Philip Kirkorov, Taisia Povaliy – but that night not songs but poems were heard from the stage. Aphorisms. Such revelations as “Thank God, the roads are not sold into slavery” or “Whom we comforted, those and sold”, one must think, it’s not easy to fall for music. “He is tired of platitudes and does not want to repeat trivial truths,” wrote Vitaly Korotich, anticipating the publication of Alexander Korotko’s poem “A bundle of dream keys”. And this is seen very true, because the banality of Alexander Korotko’s poems does not threaten. It is hard, it is supposed, this work – to convey your thoughts in a finely tuned phrase, a phrase of an unexpected, even paradoxical. Although sometimes you want to fall, like a heresy, into an unprecedented simplicity.

Korotko’s perception of the world is philosophical and tragic: “The city, like the Titanic, fell to the bottom,” “The Angel writes chapters for fascism.” These lines piercingly echo the phrase of the famous Jerzy Lec: “I’m afraid of angels – they are so kind that they will agree to be demons.” There are, of course, lines that testify that nothing human is alien to a poet – “Another’s glory, as shoes are not in size, it hurts so much.”

Alexander Korotko read his new poems with some kind of irrepressible pressure, as if re-living every line. The energy of his poems was contagious. Rhythm is fast. It was very difficult to keep up with his thoughts. The impression was created that the poet is in a hurry somewhere, that he is about to leave us, and we do not have time to realize the revelations that have been sounded.

When Bella Akhmadulina came out onto the stage, the hall was quiet again, listening to the crystal voice of the poetess, whose high gift unites people over time and space. “Everything is said – and everything is hidden. Absolutely transparent – and dark. The more a name is famous, the more unsolved it is. ” This verse from the poem “Immortalizing the soul seducing”, dedicated to Alexander Blok, can be fully attributed to Akhmadulina herself. From a young age she was an idol not only admirers of poetry, but also jealous fellows on pen. It seems that nobody has succeeded in verifying the harmony of its talent by algebra. The poem “The Dacha Novel”, which began her speech by Ahmadulina, was published back in 1973 and immediately became for the reading youth of the early eighties the favorite. Today’s young people would say cult. As it was nice to learn that the young students who settled in the gallery, together with the author, recited the concluding lines by heart: “And two hearts, two blue rooks, two iambs wander, not coinciding, insatiable delighting in the great bitterness of love.” Perhaps these words still sound for them to grow, but with them they will enter the next millennium.

Those who were lucky enough to get into the “Quarter of the Celestials”, for sure, will perceive this as a rare luck …