This book of my selected poems («Conversations before Silence», London, Glagoslav Publications, 2017) has been published in the United Kingdom. Dr. Michael M. Naydan translated poems from Ukrainian into English. Here is one of the translations of a professor at the Pennsylvania State University.
Conversations before Silence: The selected poetry of Oles Ilchenko
An avid reader of English-language poets such as William Carlos Williams and Stanley Kunitz, Ilchenko is one of the best Ukrainian poets writing in free verse today. His poetry is associative, flitting, and fragmentary. An avid reader of English-language poets such as William Carlos Williams and Stanley Kunitz, Ilchenko is one of the best Ukrainian poets writing in free verse today. His poetry is associative, flitting, and fragmentary. At times he does not form complete sentences in his poems and links words together into phrases before shifting into another thought or idea. The language of his poetry has a tendency to collapse into itself, often forcing the reader to reevaluate a word or line, to reread a previous word to focus on the poet's inner logic. This fragmentary incompleteness and permeability mimics much the way human consciousness works without the filter of the written communicative convention of sentences and grammatical structure. This "slipperiness" and rapid shifting of voice comprises one of the essential invariants in Ilchenko's poetics. The poet also flaunts many traditional poetic Ukrainian conventions. Like ee cummings he tends to avoid capital letters or punctuation such as exclamation points. One will find only commas and dashes for pauses, and an occasional period in his poems, which do not always end with the finality of that punctuation mark. In doing this, the poet often suggests a fragment or slice of his life broken off on the page and to be continued at some point in time. He is a fascinating poet whose idiom and unique manner of expression translates seamlessly into the poetics of contemporary English. Michael M. Naydan
Oles Ilchenko CAIRO the chaos of senseless non-stop aimless streams of cars no traffic cops or road signs or blinking traffic lights the carousel of a scorching day the swing of an uncertain chilling of the night and the pink freshness of hibiscus tea you can haggle you can work out a discount you can get something and forget you can cross the nile you can look at piles of trash on the picturesque shores a horse that sluggishly floats belly up warms itself in the sun follows the flow and then it’s expected to see mountains on the horizon that pretend to be a mirage beyond the palm trees gray triangles on the colorless sky to remember the word