Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Friday, March 10, 2023

The Glory and Freedom Not Yet Perished

half-collapsed house
in the gathering dark
an old man
murmurs, no food, no water
except rain through the roof

Hours before the Russian government criminalizes independent war reporting about Ukraine, a series of videos is going viral on YouTube. These video clips are short street interviews conducted in major Russian cities, offering a glimpse of the new life after Western sanctions.

Recoiling from the camera, a woman in high heels states, "I support my President." A twenty-ish man in a black parka responds in a lower voice as if murmuring to himself, "I would rather not talk about it because it can be dangerous here." Peering again at the video diary of a Ukrainian refugee, a grey-haired man claims, “It’s not what reporters are saying on the news, and I didn’t hear that the President sent troops to start a war.”

against bombed-out condos
a pink-haired girl
plays Cello Suite No. 5
before soul-tired neighbours