Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
30 March 2022

The NS Poem: Ballad of Return

A new poem by Yuri Andrukhovych, translated by John Hennessy and Ostap Kin.

By Yuri Andrukhovych

When the traveller came back home,
passed the gates, crossed the threshold,
hefting on his shoulders the road and fatigue,
all the joys of this world landed at his feet.

He wasn’t forgotten, they’d waited for him:     
dinner with wine at a generous table.
Somehow, he didn’t talk about distant berths,
locking unknown sadness between his lips.

And everyone wondered, and his wife
sighed in vain pursuit of sleep until morning. 
But he kept watching there, behind the curtain,
where a star swam through the sky above the window.

Yuri Andrukhovych is a Ukrainian poet who lives and works in Ivano-Frankivsk. John Hennessy and Ostap Kin are also the co-translators of the collection “Babyn Yar: Ukrainian Poets Respond”, forthcoming in 2022 (HURI/Harvard University Press)

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
The cost-of-living crisis is hitting small businesses – Liz Truss must act
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs

This article appears in the 30 Mar 2022 issue of the New Statesman, The New Iron Curtain