Yuliya Musakovska

Yuliya Musakovska was born in 1982 in Lviv, Ukraine. She obtained her Master’s Degree from Lviv National University, Foreign Affairs Department. Currently, she leads a marketing and communications team at a software company. Yuliya translates Swedish poetry into Ukrainian. She has authored following books of poetry: “На вдих і на видих” ( “Breathe Out, Breathe In”, Kyiv, Fakt, 2010), “Маски” (“Masks”, Kyiv, Smoloskyp, 2011). Her works have been widely published in literary magazines, won a number of prizes and were featured in Ukrainian literary festivals. Yuliya’s poems have been translated into English, German, Swedish, Bulgarian and Russian.

musakovska_cover‘The Hunt for Silence’
in original: Юлія Мусаковська, ‘Полювання на тишу’

Perhaps, the most interesting thing in this poetry collection is the way everything meets, overlaps and echoes – finely, precisely, symmetrically. But not stiffly or predictably. It is a natural symmetry of cycles and interdependencies: they are barely noticeable, but if you take something away, it will cause everything to collapse. It is what you see from a distance watching everything taking shape. And you fail to understand “whether the dragon is inside us // or we are riding it”. “The main concept of this book is duality – it is also reflected in its structure. The hunt may mean the desire to possess, to reach silence – or the desire to defuse it, to get rid of it. It is like love-hate relationship: on the one hand, the silence is wanted as peace and calm. On the other hand, it is being fought, because silence also means stagnation, void, an absence of sound; restraint and oppression, that is, an absence of mutual understanding. Nowadays, the real communication is devolving, we are gradually losing the ability to talk to each other. We must realize that silence can become our enemy and find courage to resist it”, says Yuliya Musakovska. The first thing you notice when reading the book is the wish to sing those words out, to rock them on your tongue, to whisper, to feel each of them: sea in a seashell is sealed tired in shallow shell the sea feels squashed it is shelled dashing swishing its tail despots are still disputing somewhere ashore sea in the seashell fells the sounds with waves

“In Hunting of Silence Yulia Musakovska baits the reader with the voice from the noise around and lures with bread crumbs of words leading the way to the reader’s own self. Catch Yuliya in her word, when it comes so close to you, when it trusts you, before the silence hunts it”, says Halyna Kruk about the collection. The words of Yuliya “I am highly intuitive, a mystic” can be the key to the parallel reality of these poems. It helps you understand and sort in mind those signs, symbols, stories, hints. Some of them may be called sacral, but they are not overloaded with pathos and withered haloes. “The sparrows under the roof are outcast angels // watched by Lord the Birdherd”, “the common prayer // grows like a balloon to the empty skies”. A whole gallery of angels can be found here “he has gilded wings and eyes wide open”, “feels the drunk body with the rose of his mouth”, “angel snuggles up to your side like a hungry dog // and secretly licks your heart so it doesn’t smolder”. The images of these poems are made for your mind to feast upon the details; the elastic verses are seeded in the reader’s memory. “I was quietly floating // among the sad drowned bodies and mad fish”, “the window glass is as cold as dismay”, “the wood opens up as is parting its legs”, “the cranes concluded alive in origami”, “seagulls are making bars overhead // the iron pencils of their beaks // checkering skies over us”.

Vasyl Makhno described the poems of the collection as follows: “… in their core, they are metaphysical, and their concreteness and reality are as fuzzy as a contemporary poet can afford if he or she chooses to keep the voice and the silence in the amphorae of accentual-syllabic verse”. Eventually, the answers to your own questions can be found in this private and parallel reality: “we are trying to go past silence but fail to pass it”, “and the words – what are words? – we have nothing to do with them // with our hair undone we enter their chambers // our eyelids sharp like machetes // our lungs full of bitter karma // and the timid words try to flee // madly try striking their heads at furniture // for they are only prey // they are only the trophies we wear // round our neck like savages”.

Published in March, 2014.
Original language: Ukrainian.
10554 words.

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