Friday, March 11, 2022

Poetry on Friday

Today's poem was written by Ukrainian poet Ilya Kaminsky. Born in Odessa in 1997, he came to the US in 1993. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but I would hope that none of us can live happily through any war, even if we are not being actively bombed ourselves, trying to get out of a bombed hospital, or huddled in the subway trying to avoid bombs. 

We Lived Happily During the War

by Ilya Kaminsky 

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we
but not enough, we opposed them but not
enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America
was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.
I took a chair outside and watched the sun.
In the sixth month
of a disastrous reign in the house of money
in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,
our great country of money, we (forgive us)
lived happily during the war.

Kaminsky, Ilya. "We Lived Happily During the War." Poetry International, 2013,

You can read more about the poet here
My wish for all: mindfulness, good health, the cessation of war, along with some poetry as the week winds down. 


  1. This poem reminds me of the expression "follow the money". It truly can be the root of all evil when it's wielded as a weapon.

  2. Ooof.... these words ring true today as well. I have been immersed in poetry to try and stay sane this week. Thank you so much for these very poignant words from Ilya Kaminsky.

  3. Wow! Pretty powerful stuff here.

  4. oh my goodness, what a poem and for the now times especially! I am heartbroken on what that country is going through.

  5. What a perfect poem to share right now. My heart just . . . hurts. XO

  6. This poem seems very familiar, so I must have read it before, but I'm happy to read it again. It's really spot on. These days, it's all about the money.

  7. I know the war is not "here", but I think we for the most part are NOT living happily with it. Anxiously living with war? Sadly? Angrily?

    No, not happily.

    Good poem. Maybe he means that sometimes you just have to turn off your mind and let the happy come in? Is that even possible?

  8. Hmmm, I think this war is about much more than money. Power, ego, legacy, the list goes on. Perfect poem to contemplate the present situation. Thank you for your wishes, I hope they come true for all the people who are suffering so badly. Happy Weekend, Bonny.

  9. the poem is very poignant. Dark times at the moment

  10. What an interesting poem for the time we are living in. I wonder if the poet is making a comment on the role that money plays in the manufacturing and maintaining a military complex. It is also interesting to see how the poem speaks differently to different readers. It reminds me a bit of Jane Hirshfield's "Let Them Not Say."

  11. whoa. gut punch. thank you for sharing ... and making me think.


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