Poems of Liberty: Everyday Life Amongst Conflict

© Tania Yakunova for FNF x Fine Acts

“Inter arma silent Musae” or “Among arms muses are silent” goes the adage. As war ploughs through Europe once more, culture does not cease to grow. Sales of poetry books and interest in the genre continue to increase. One explanation for this is that poetry helps find rhyme and reason in a world torn by conflict. With its strong emotions, evocative imagery and empathy-inducing style, poetry describes the horrors of wars better than any news article. War poetry brings to life theconflicts of ancient Greece, and Rome, the formative conflicts in later Europe, as well as the tortuous struggles of the World Wars.

This edition of Poems of Liberty has invited poets to share with the readers what everyday life looks like amidst conflict in Ukraine and their hopes and dreams for a peaceful future. From many emotive submissions, it was certainly difficult to choose the winners, but here we decided to include the ones that touched our hearts the most. Three under the category of Everyday Life Amongst Conflict and three under Hope and Dreams for a Peaceful Future.

The poets themselves come from Ukraine and other European countries representing the view of not only Ukraine but of all Europe. This is what sets Ukraine firmly into the European family, which is defined as much more than just the European Union, but is united by our commitment to liberal democracy, rule of law, and human rights. Certainly, different countries might be committed to these values with varying enthusiasm, but the importance of these values is not questioned.

This is why it is crucial to constantly stand up against illiberal voices in the face of a war attacking these values. Russian aggression is not expected to stop in the near future, nor is it expected to stop in Ukraine. There are increasing attacks by the Kremlin in cyberspace, the information space, and toward economic relations affecting countries of the European Union. In short, the war against Ukraine is a war against Europe, its territory, its people, its culture, and its values. We must help Ukraine in repelling the Russian aggression to defend our shared values. As such we must never forget the struggle, the terror and the hardship inflicted upon Ukraine, nor must we lose hope and a clear vision of a brighter future.

Poems of Liberty: Everyday Life Amongst Conflict

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