Saturday, January 7, 2012

Window on Eurasia: Barak Obama Wins ‘Poetic Glory’ in Udmurtia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 7 – The Udurt-language literary journal “Invozho” has published a translation of a poem Barak Obama wrote when he was a student, thus winning the US president “poetic glory” in that Finno-Ugric republic in the Middle Volga region.

            Peter Zakharov, the editor in chief of that journal, has translated three of Obama’s youthful poems. One of the poems appears in the current issue of “Invozho,” and the other two are slated to appear in the next. Zakharov says he did so because the US president is “a symbol of the new” (

            It turns out, the editor continues, that while few have taken notice of Obama’s poetry in the United States or elsewhere, the current president appears to have had the makings in his younger years of “a not bad poet” if he had chosen to apply himself in that area of creativity. And he said that the Udmurt translations of Obama’s poetry were already attracting attention.

            “Friends from Finland,” Zakharov said, “were surprised by this brave experience and Ukrainian colleagues asked that they be sent the latest number of “Inovozho.” The Udmurt editor adds that he hopes to find and translate more such poems and not only by Obama but by other world leaders past and present.



No comments:

Post a Comment