«Following a prominent romantic tradition, the
poet remains at the center of the poetic work: as
a hero, not a public figure, the poet as an
emotional person tells us how to live in this
In the field of poetry, poets use the language of art to interpret themselves, discovering a
world they can touch, as well as a subtle, spiritual world, condensing living energies from real
experience and being in a certain mystical space, which ultimately pours out on paper. The
same in this case with the poem «Paris».
In the poem «Paris» modern Ukrainian poet Alexander Korotko, poet-philosopher, who
in his work combines the traditions of classical poetry with the aesthetics of postmodernism,
creates a brilliant epic canvas. Ukrainian literary master Pavlo Zagrebelny said of Oleksandr
Korotko's poetry: «His poems are not meant to be read aloud, but to be experienced with the
eyes… These words force us to live no longer in banal bustle, but in the «Land of Peach
Blossom», which gives the highest importance to man».
About «Paris» Alexander Korotko once said: «Paris is not the result of hard work, it is
an esoteric premonition, which does not exist and can not be in reality, an indisputable and
unconscious intertwining, but it flows out from the air of Paris and settles in the poet's soul,
the street becomes a flow of consciousness, these inspired delusions, allusions and fantasies
compose poems like flocks of migratory birds, fall on paper against the will of the author,
flow into the poetry of the future».
Many literary creators were born in Ukraine or with the help of Destiny formed an
inseparable spiritual connection with it. The famous Russian writer Gogol was born in
Ukraine, Pushkin was exiled to the Crimea in his youth, and many of Tchaikovsky's works
have strong elements of Ukrainian folk songs, as he spent his youth in the suburbs of Kiev,
Leo Tolstoy served for several years in the Crimea in Sevastopol, that experience had great
influence on his further life in literature, Chekhov lived in the Crimea for many years… today
a new generation of literary authors like Igor Zavilinsky, Yuri Vinnychuk appears in an
endless stream …
Poets are markers of the era, and their works outline the state of time in which they live.
At the thematic and motivic level, many modern Ukrainian poems revolve around war, love,
hometown, fullness of life, freedom, tangible rhythm and linguistic convergence, involving
the elements of folk and song elements, as the famous Ukrainian poet and artist Taras
Shevchenko, 2 who is the founder of modern Ukrainian literature and the founder of the
Ukrainian literary language. War, exile, hard life deprived the poet of freedom. Around this
topic one after another there are works against the royal.
War, exile, hard life deprived the poet of freedom. One after another, works against the
tsarist tyranny appear around this topic, reflecting the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
In the poem «Heretic» the image of the prominent Czech religious reformer Yan Hus
(14-15 centuries) is created, which shows that he opposed the enslavement of the Pope and
the Germans. Shevchenko wrote a number of sharp political poems and even expressed his
thoughts in the form 3 of hymns or imitations of Bible chapters («Psalms of David»). In
1 From «Modern American literature» of Daniel Hoffman.
2 Taras Schevchenko (1814–1861) — great Ukrainian poet and artist, was born in the family of a serf in village called
Molynce Zvenygorod district of Kyiv provice, Ukraine. His works were presented in China in 1920. All his works were
translated by Lu Syun, Goh Moruo, Mao Dung and others. Translator Ge Baocuang also worked on the works of Taras
3 З «Вибраних поезій» Тараса Шевченка. Автор Ге Баоцюань.
addition, much of the poetry expresses the poet's acute nostalgia for his homeland.
The following are excerpts from the works of Taras Shevchenko in Chinese.
The poet realized that in his time he would never be able to witness the liberation of
man in his lifetime. «Thought» reveals the poet's nostalgia for his hometown and at the same
time the poem is full of personal freedom. The poems revolve around the theme of war,
freedom and life and are an image of that era.
And in the title of the O. Korotko’s poem «Paris» is a well-known city, the subject of
the lyrics here moves layer by layer, expressing the most secret emotions of the poet. In
contrast to the classics, Olexander Korotko's modern poetry destroys rules and norms and
brings more tension, freedom, brightness, madness, momentum and openness to the topic of
Paris. The undisguised expression of these elements makes poetry more flexible, richer in
content and fuller in emotion.
Under a sky of castrated stars, a careless wind
straightens his shoulders and drives a herd of clouds across the sea of
infinity and clouds, fragile jellyfish, hysterically
moaning, breathing painfully, and this painting of the universe
lives in a mirror reflection of dreams in a naive
sunken world, in the underwater kingdom of being,
titanic of arts, whose name is the Louvre.
First of all, «Paris» does not depict a heroic character with a strong temper, so we say
that the poet does not take on the role of a character as an object of description throughout the
poem. Rather, it is the description of the city – the night sky, dark clouds, jellyfish – the plein
air of the universe – that makes Paris the protagonist of the whole poem.
From late foliage greens, phrases thrown
half-turned, from the starry honeycombs of the night dew life
applied to us on You by dream of Chagall, Klimt’s
gilding. And Babylon of love fell at your feet,
funny Paris, and that was our secret, and the rain
on the keys of homeless roofs played a melody of
longing, and this random conspiracy overheard my
whiskey, and the bell sounded in me, in the concert hall of
silence, where I was hiding from the spring, and the moon’s candle melted
and stearin dripped with a white tear, and as an Eiffel tower
the dawn grew, and the morning Van Gogh did not paint with a
furious brush, but with chalk.
Secondly, in the poem «Paris» we can not determine the exact chronology. The whole
capital is a metaphysical vision of the poet, he became related with this city and dissolved in
4 From «The Will» of Taras Schevchenko, translation of Ge Baocyuang.
5 From the work of Taras Shevchenko translated by Chzan Tyesuang.
6 Taras Schevchenko, translation of Ge Baocyuang.
its right-wing history. He yearns, he is nostalgic and full of the most tender memories of Paris,
his artistic charm, in particular, his association with French painting determines the
mysterious retrospective in the poem.
We are always disappearing somewhere in the sleepings, and in the thoughts,
and in the dreams,
we don’t know our life at all, it is in interlinear
of the dawn burns with a harbinger of paradise, a magic wing,
a flock of birds that, flying over melancholy, burns, turning
the sun, like our flesh, into heavenly dust.
The poem expresses the author's inner reflection, we often live with our dreams and
thoughts, neglecting how beautiful real life, its joy and meaning far outweigh the tragic pages.
As for mentions of real events in Paris, we have the following lines that reflect the topography
of Paris, the real topic of the versatile city:
On French earth, where the world is not nice,
only for Russian the dream sends the last greetings mixed
with a bloody libel, with the camps of a hungry summer,
with Ariadne's noose named Thread.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The anger has become kinder over the years. Paris did not refuse anguish,
somewhere fears flew away, like our white snowstorms.
The station sheltered the paintings. All come true not romantic.
From the point of view of literary theory, «Paris» violates the established method of
focusing on the story, causing emotions due to the occurrence of a particular event. For
example, a recent new work of Ukrainian contemporary poet Ihor Pavliuk 7 , «Around Ukraine
Wanders the Destiny of Humanity», describes the current war, recalling major events that
took place in a particular place to express deep emotions. Oleksandr Korotko also wrote
ingenious poems about the horrors of the modern war in Ukraine, such as a poem where there
is an image of «shine in the dust».
With dislike to Paris. Festive despair.
In the bustle of not your life, you want to be like
others, thirsty, passionate,
«Paris» does not describe directly what great events took place in the city, but instead
describes the reaction that events evoke in the author's mind, expressing the subjective
consciousness of the subject of the poetic work. Instead, the author pays more attention to the
way of thinking about Paris, he has a special visionaryism. The poem «Paris» is multi-layered,
and at first glance it seems to be glued from separate, unrelated fragments. The main purpose
of the poem is a panoramic unfolding of real and metaphysical life of Paris, which does not
deny another task set by the poet: to portray his feelings on an easel, as Impressionist artists
did in the open air, to vividly reflect his own spiritual world, wich got relative with Paris.
There is no more France, Paris, and as a gull
7 Igor Pavlyuk: Ukrainian writer, scientist, translator, participant of the International Festival of Culture and Arts, researcher at
the Taras Shevchenko Institute of Literature in Kyiv, Ukraine. Chairman of the Pantreimond Kulish Literary and Artistic
Prize Committee. Member of the Committee of the Hryhoriy Skovoroda International Literary Prize "Garden of Divine
Comedy". Member of the editorial boards of well-known literary and scientific journals.
from chest your tormented spirit screams: «I won’t
see you again!» But the stoned city is silent. Gauguin is tired,
he hears the silent sounds of the stars,
"Paris" – a poem about the Eternal City. From the first sentence here is a special inner
tension: "I do not like to go to Paris." The line is similar to a statement of denial, but also a
declaration of love. This is a call for a deep revelation of emotional outbursts. From hatred to
love is always one step. There is no hatred – there is longing, passion, understanding, despair,
understanding again, acceptance, awakening and, finally, LOVE. The lyrical subject accuses,
adores, rages in his love. Such visions of the poet laid the foundation for the inherent
contradictions and tensions of the poem.
In the body shell of the city of Paris, no, through the looking glass
his tormented nature, life flows and makes
God-fearing exodus to its origins,
Chapters of the poem demonstrate the ingenious technique of O. Korotko’s writing and
are the culmination of emotional sincerity. Here is a strong emotional level and a high level of
artistic understanding of life. The poem is a magical guide to the mysterious and existential
signs of the city, which is timeless, both past and future. And now many things are
intertwined, but the essence of Paris is to give love, to unite culture in love and memory. Paris
is changing, it is declining, it is losing itself in new dimensions, and at the same time it is
eternal, of flesh and blood.
Fleeting invasion, you fly as demoniac
mosquito hunched and ashamed
insatiable power of impressions, through the hot streets,
frightening and aloof, cynical and defenseless,
who forgot their destiny on the Elbe, in the heart
of little man, in the Paris Commune,
in frenzied luxury and pleasures, finally,
in the artists who glorified you for the rest of
life lost in the present.
Olexander Korotko wrote an ode for Paris as for the Eternal City, as for Rome or for
Jerusalem. He has his own myth: Paris is inscribed in the fabric of world culture created by
great writers and artists. They become the lyrical subjects, the devil in Hobsek's eyes, the
strings of the streets of Paris, where live the masters, and the waves of memory.
If You will touch the abyss of my premonitions and hopes,
then your experience is useless, dissolute, windy,
gentle, naked, like a winter morning, leave it for people like me,
The poet sees Paris as a space of absolute love and desire for beauty, a world in which
there is the sublime, as Immanuel Kant 8 wrote in "About the feeling of beauty and sublimity",
so the poet feels love for the city where are his dreams and heart.
In "Heroes with a Thousand Faces," Joseph Campbell 9 said, "There is only one hero in
8 Immanuel Kant was a famous German philosopher of the Enlightenment and the founder of German classical philosophy.
His theories profoundly influenced modern Western philosophy and generated many schools, such as German idealism and
Kant's transcendentalism, that formed neo-Kantianism. Kant was the last great philosopher of the Enlightenment and a
representative figure of German philosophical thought.
9 Joseph John Campbell is an American mythologist, professor, best known for his researches in the field of comparative
mythology, and he is reborn each time in an alien cultural costume defined by cultural
heritage." But the myths are similar, homologous. Here the poet Olexander Korotko creates
many faces for his «Paris», talking about a single Paris, not geographically on the map, but
about the fate and energy of cultural memory. And all the heroes of literature, all the great
French – just different incarnations under thousands of Paris panels.
Life, sprouted with the memory of colors, in the wild thickets
of the sun lives, and the rays of the reeds the world is sweet,
these are brushes from everyday fairy tales, the artist left us
in pledge and Paris, like a dream on an easel, in the open air
preserved for centuries.
Olexander Korotko's visions in «Paris» are fundamental and deep. The city did not
make the poet stronger – it destroyed him, turned him into a poor butterfly, crushed him,
pressed him, broke him into molecules, threw him into the Seine and became a happy
drowned. All the flaws of Paris – pride, vanity, narcissism – are like cobwebs of indian
summer, flying from the horizon of previous lives, just stepping on the threshold of the city,
without pathos and snobbery. The poet expresses his emotions and feelings in his
characteristic Impressionist style, and in this respect he resembles a group of artists who 10
rested at the Musée d'Orsay.
In short words, poets express feelings that perhaps not everyone will appreciate, in this
aspect, poets are lonely. As Emerson wrote, the poet feels the truth and art. But he rejoices in
his reflections, which sooner or later attract others. Because man lives the truth and needs
expression. Whether in love, or in art, or in desire, or in politics, or in work, or in game, we all
want to learn to tell the secrets of our pain. Only half of a person is a person himself, and the
other half is his work 11 . We need art to explore and comprehend the true meaning, that is
hideden behind it, from different points of view, revealing the trajectory of time, as in
And raptures bloom, and centuries
passing by in a series of pictures, as interjections of boring
events, where the artist. frequenter of love, is lonely
and sometimes unsociable.
Besides themes and expressions, Olexander Korotko pursuited to be innovative in the
structure of the poem; besides poems-essay and aphoristic poems, the poet also created a
unique and special kind of poetry – single-line philosophical poetry. In general, his poems are
deep and prophetic, such as: "Abraham and Isaak", "Joseph and Jacob", "Jerusalem",
"Venice", "Paris", "Bakhchisarai", "Stus" and others.
Oleksandr Korotko is a representative of the modern Ukrainian literary avant-garde.
Through the interpretation of "Paris" it is easy to notice that "Paris" stirred up new emotional
waves in the field of Ukrainian poetry, deep feelings. If Ukrainian poetry is a pure source that
mythology and religious studies, covering many aspects of human experience. Campbell's great work "The Hero with a
Thousand Faces" tells about the hero's journey and his transformation in mythology around the world, as well as reveals the
path of the hero as an archetype. Since the publication of this book, Campbell's theory has been widely used by many
contemporary writers and artists.
10 Quote from the author.
11 From «Modern American liteature» of Daniel Gofman, «World literature».
eventually penetrates into unknown depths, then Olexander Korotko brought into it living
water, which flows into the heart of every lover of poetry, refreshing and moisturizing every