National Poetry Day: Natalya Gorbanevskaya

To celebrate National Poetry Day, Index is publishing some of our favourite poems from our archives. This, from Russian dissident poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya, was published in our very first issue

03 Oct 2013

Natalya Gorbanevskaya (b 1936) was active in the Russian dissident movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. That movement provided the impetus and inspiration for the founding of Index on Censorship. After facing severe oppression in Russia, including being deemed committed to a psychiatric hosptial (a common punishment for dissidents), Gorbanevskaya fled to Paris, where she now lives.

Index published 14 of her poems, smuggled out of the Soviet Union, in our very first issue in 1972. This is one of them.

Turn the sky over,
lower it into the sea,
the silent into the voiceless.
Help the sea to rise,
lift the sea into the sky,
sea-blue into sky-blue,
height and depth
bring into balance.

Balance yourself and the world,
the world and the ladybird,
the wavelet and the wave
that drags you under to the bottom.
And go down to the bottom, softly
banging the moist doors behind you.

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Padraig Reidy

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One response to “National Poetry Day: Natalya Gorbanevskaya”

  1. To celebrate National Poetry Day, I publish my most popular poems:


    By Basil Venitis

    I dream of a soulful woman

    Someone with style and love

    Someone with charm and wonder

    Magic woman far above.

    There is a woman out there

    Someone who offers real love

    Some sweetheart somewhere

    Magic woman far above.

    I wonder where is this person

    Where is this Goddess of love

    Striking in hard and headon

    Magic woman far above.

    Come down real beauty

    Bring to me some soul love

    Bring in joy to this guy

    Magic woman far above.

    I don’t care where you come from

    When you drive to my heart

    Real love will bring me freedom

    Magic woman far above.

    I don’t care what you do for living

    Just show up for soul love

    Cheer me up and keep me living

    Magic woman far above.

    I don’t care what you know

    Know me and bring me love

    Please don’t answer with a no

    Magic woman far above.

    Come and dance with me with joy

    Bring me peace like a dove

    I am a man but not a toy

    Magic woman far above.


    By Basil Venitis

    There is a love that never fails

    A love as peaceful as a dove

    A love that grows and hails

    That’s spiritual love.

    There is a love for soulmates

    A love that lasts far above

    A love that always elates

    That’s spiritual love.

    There is a love I cannot live without

    A love to touch without glove

    A love that I’ll never doubt
    That’s spiritual love.


    By Basil Venitis

    Crossroads of my life
    Where do you lead me?
    Would I be free?
    Where should I drive?

    Perturbing me as snowball,
    In fate’s crucial nodes,
    Knocking me as football,
    To follow freedom roads.


    By Basil Venitis

    Hosanna our Creator!
    Focus our macroscope in Your direction,
    And inspire us for proper behavior,
    To enlighten Your wise creation.

    Transform us to magi of peace and love,
    And give us the courage to face the odds,
    To vamp but not to shove,
    And help all folks with all our heart.

    Thank You so much for Your great benevolence,
    And all wisdom in all Your kingdom,
    Thank you so much for the great experience,
    In the school of Earth for love and freedom.



    By Basil Venitis

    God everything is in order
    Everything follows Your plan
    No statists no borders
    Your will shall be done.

    Don’t know how to thank you
    For inspiring me so much
    For filling my mind with clues
    For filling my heart with love.

    Regards to my soulmate
    And the entire bunch
    Tell them of my debate
    The statists had a real crunch.


    By Basil Venitis

    View that stirs up any man
    Split of chest with great lumen
    Milky breasts that comfort humans
    Cleavage of well-endowed woman.

    Want to kiss that great spot
    Touch and feel of being human
    Lick my joy’s habitat
    Cleavage of well-endowed woman.

    Have to suck that milky gorge
    Have to milk that gorgeous woman
    Only God can really forge
    Cleavage of well-endowed woman.

    Breastfeed now a big boy
    Help him grow super human
    Give him biggish booby joy
    Cleavage of well-endowed woman.


    By Basil Venitis

    Gone are all the power years
    Avoid now any strife
    Shifting now slow gears
    The last years of my life.

    Life is a real game
    Peace and prayer are now rife
    Have accomplished my aim
    The last years of my life.

    Euthanasia is coming
    Marching now with a fife
    Thank you much for all the hugging
    The last years of my life.

    All alone and no wife
    Looking back at my life
    Wondering about afterlife
    The last years of my life.


    By Basil Venitis

    Children locked in all these classes
    Dumbing down our kids
    Boring teachers with glasses
    Unschool now and lib the kids.

    Kids are looking for a Moses
    To liberate them from all these freaks
    To lead them to the promised land of chosen
    Unschool now and lib the kids.

    Eager fresh-faced youngsters
    Bored to hell and tired lids
    Are in classes like gangsters
    Unschool now and lib the kids.

    Abolish schooling right now
    Abolish all these stupid grids
    Fire all these teachers anyhow
    Unschool now and lib the kids.