My Sunday Book Review is for Frank Prem’s moving new release, freeverse poetry with his interpretation of the war in Ukraine – From Volyn to Kherson. This is a most moving collection of tellings from the vision of Prem based on some of the many articles written about the heinous war in Ukraine.
From Volyn To Kherson, tells the stories of hardship and suffering and bewilderment experienced by the people of Ukraine in the early weeks of the 2022 Russian invasion and war.
The collection draws on news reports and social media postings during the most un-curated war the world has ever witnessed, interpreting and translating the raw emotion of this wartime experience.
There is no part of Ukraine that has been left untouched by this war, and no part of the poet left untouched by these stories of the Ukraine.
This book will be part of a series.
My 5 Star Review:
This book is a deeply emotional read as told through the vision of author Frank Prem in his style for which he’s known – freeverse poetry in his deep observational writing. In these stories, the author has taken from what he’s seen on the news, and from headlines and stories across the globe reported by brave journalists, and evokes his own heart and compassion in his tellings and interpretations, leaving us, the readers, to absorb the enormity of the effects on human life and the human condition.
Prem introduces his stories with a question at the beginning – ‘Which of us will be Ukraine, tomorrow?’
“People used to think about new car or IPhone, but nobody was thinking about peace. Now, we are dreaming of it. When old people used to wish each other peace, we didn’t understand what they meant. Now we do.”
Every one of Prem’s poems pierced through my heart. I will share here just two of many heartwrenching tellings:
In okhtyrka (the tsentral’ne)
they are preparing
the cemetery now
and his platoon
they are digging
it doesn’t matter
there won’t be any funerals held
and both of them
will be overrun
nobody asked us (in russia)
will be different now
is the changing
of our world
do you know . . .
is the true
knowing that none
and to speak
for ukraine . . .
is a crime