Read: a poem by an older person with dementia who took part in a recent PEN project

Certain songs one can remember

In Russia it’s an open language
Batushka – grown up person
Such a vast country, the amount of different words,
Different parts of the country –
So great
Nice language to know
Nice subject and open to alterations
More words probably than other languages

My mother could speak Russian quite well
From part of Poland came under Russian rule
If a song or poetry, you remember
The same melody can be used for different songs

Volga, vogar vat, ma and eb
The river, like a mother giving birth
A natural mother
Like a mother to me
Some songs you can call
Verses of poetry.
Batushka, volgar volgar vat
Same melody

 

This poem came out of a project English PEN ran with Living Words in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom.

 

 

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