Poems for Pussy Riot: Three Sisters by Tim Dooley

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘ in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence.

In the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October, we are posting daily tributes to the band, in the form of some extraordinary poems and images. An ebook collection of the poems, CATECHISM: POEMS FOR PUSSY RIOT, edited by Mark Burnhope, Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer, will be published on 1 October to coincide with their appeal hearing. Several contributors to the project will also be reading their work as part of a peaceful protest outside the Russian Embassy in London, 11- 1pm, one of many protests due to take place across the globe.

The following contribution comes from Tim Dooley.

 

Three Sisters

 

I did go to Moscow,

Yakaterina says,

to stand in the cathedral

and sing a jagged song

against the Patriarch, the fixer

the smooth word and the suit.

 

I did go to Moscow,

says Maria Alyokhina,

because we’re trained

from childhood

to forget the child’s

unwelcome question.

 

I did go to Moscow,

Nadezhda also says,

because work is not enough

to burst the corporate

gangsters’ smugness;

we must speak as holy fools.

 

Unshielded protectors,

dance and stamp your feet;

stomp and shout your song

until your words drown out

the limousine-driven cross,

the cassock and the boot.

 

Poems for Pussy Riot posts

Poems for Pussy Riot – an introduction to the project

Soutien-Gorge: Ira Lightman

Vagina: Sophie Mayer

Song: Ali Smith

Abridged and Complete Biography of Olympe de Gouge: Claire Trévien

Women of the Year: Betty Doyle

Weapons of Minor Destruction: Sandra Alland

Our Glorious Leader Putin: Jack Underwood

Cat Power: Amy Key

Avoid using the word “pussy”: Charlotte Geater

Poem with Four Vaginal Walls: Mark Burnhope

Sheela na gig (deconstructed): Sarah Crewe

Dance of the Seven Veils: Alison Croggon

Skylined: Gareth Evans

Vox Populi (A poem for voices): Steve Heighton

The Eye of the Needle: Aoife Mannix

Ne (No): Wayne Burrows

Vaginaland: Jen Campbell

We Jew women: Translated by Marek Kazmierski

Thirst: John Siddique

Elegy in Red: Chris Emslie

Theatre: Fathieh Saudi

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