Three Classic Poems About Russia And Ukraine, Translated

Shimmer Analysis
2 min readJul 23, 2023


Farewell, Unwashed Russia
By Russian Romantic poet Mikhail Lermontov, known for his intimate relationship with the Caucasus.

Now fare thee well, thou unwashed Russia,
Thou land of slaves and land of lords,
You uniforms of sky-blue colour,
Thou nation of their willing wards.

Perhaps I can escape thy pashas
Behind the Caucasus’s wall,
Elude their eye that misses nothing,
Elude their ears that hark to all.

To My Fellow Inmates
By Taras Shevchenko, considered the national poet of Ukraine. Charged with inspiring the Ukrainian independence movement and writing in the Ukrainian language, he spent a decade in exile, including internment at the Novopetrovskoe fortress.

Recall, you whom I call my kin,
(Let naught renew this wound now scarring!),
How we would circumspectly win
Long glances through a window’s barring.
And, verily, we wondered! “When –
For quiet counsel, and for talking –
When will we be together, walking
On this poor, plundered land again?”

But nevermore, dear brothers, never!…
We will not share the Dnieper’s flow,
Will split, and carry as we go
To steppes and woods our lot together,
Our faith in freedom we will treasure
A bit, then start to live and grow
Midst people, adapting…

Before that can happen,
My brothers, keep brotherly love,
Our Ukraine keep adoring,
And for her, whom fate bedevils,
Heaven’s Lord imploring.
Comrades, do not dwell on God or
Curse him in frustration,
Think of me in my fell prison
On the odd occasion…

By Igor Guberman.

The Russian leaders once again
Urge, for morality’s protection,
Their populace to march ahead,
While lying as to the direction.