«Jewish Observer»
August 2002
5762 Elul

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Two wonderful meetings with Jewish and non-Jewish poets a senior lecturer of Kharkov Academy of Arts Viktor Guzhva arranged for the Poltava community. Within the frames of the Jewish culture people's university he brought us two programs: "Between two skies" and "Nothing is forgotten in me about that".

In the first composition a wonderful poet and person Yuriy Levitansky, who could have been 80 years old in this year, appeared before the audience as a philosopher thinking "about life, death, glory". We were imbued with his love for life ("My life, I love you more for you are unique"), understood the passion for a film art rather exhaustingly reflecting the time ("Everything comes and leaves for nowhere, everything comes but nothing leaves completely"). The lines about war are very piercing: "I do not participate in war. It participates in me, and the reflection of Eternal Fire trebles in my jaw". These lines, as for me, are in common with the words of Y. Yevtushenko. They are included in the name of the second program "Nothing in me forgets about that".

A perfectly composed composition dedicated to the biggest tragedy of the XX century - Holocaust - was performed in one breath, passionately, excitingly and temperately. The poems of Yelena Shirman, Nikolay Mayorov, Vsevolod Bagritskiy and Nikolay Pulkin, Pavel Kogan and Musa Djalil, Leonid Shersher and Andrey Voznesensky were performed.

The verses of different style poets, smoothly transient into one another, amending one another, were penetrated by the only topic - pain and war horrors - , seemed to be one big poem addressed to all living human beings: "Do not forget! Remember! Do not let the sufferings of innocently murdered, burned alive in death camps take place again!"

The composition ends with the well-known "Babiy Yar" by Y.Yevtushenko. It seemed to me I heard this poem for the first time, so unusually intonationally, brightly, and deeply it sounded. And after words:

"Nothing in me is going to forget about this!
Let the "International" be sounded
When all of anti-Semites
Will be completely annihilated"

the listeners rose like one and proved once again, applauding and crying, that past half a century these words are, to my deep regret, very actual.

Thanks to the Master for these meetings.


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