Bohdan Boichuk’s Childhood Reveries: A Migrant’s Nostalgia, or, Documenting Pain in Poetry
memories played in forming his poetic imagination. Displaced by World War II, the
poet displays a unique capacity to transcend his traumatic experiences by engaging in creative writing. Eyewitnessing war atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis does not destroy his belief in the healing power of poetry; on the contrary, it makes him appreciate poetry as the only existentially worthy enterprise. Invoking Gaston Bachelard’s classic work The Poetics of Reveries: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos, I argue that Boichuk’s vivid childhood memories, however painful they might be, helped him poetically recreate and reimagine fateful moments of his migrant life.
Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Reverie: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos. Translated by Daniel Russell. Boston: Beacon Press, 1971.
Boichuk, Bohdan. Chas boliu [The Time of Pain]. New York: Slovo, 1957.
Boichuk, Bohdan. Kliasa bez visty: Poema v prozi. The Perished Class: Poem in Prose. Klasa bez wieści: Poemat prozą. Translated by the author and Roman Boychuk. Przekład Tadeusz Karabowicz. Lviv: Piramida, 2014.
Boichuk, Bohdan. Memories of Love: The Selected Poems of Bohdan Boychuk. Translated by David Ignatow and Mark Rudman. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 1989.
Boichuk, Bohdan. Podorozh z uchytelem: poema [Journey with a Teacher: A Poem]. New York: V‑vo Niu-Yorkskoi hrupy, 1976.
Boichuk, Bohdan. Virshi vybrani i peredostanni [Poems, Selected and Next to the Last]. New York: Suchasnist’, 1983.
Rewakowicz, Maria G. Literature, Exile, Alterity: The New York Group of Ukrainian Poets. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2014.
Rudman, Mark. “Introduction.” In Memories of Love: Selected Poems of Bohdan Boychuk. Translated by David Ignatow and Mark Rudman, 7–14. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: Sheep Meadow Press, 1989.
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