DOI: https://doi.org/10.18523/kmhj150392.2018-5.133-142

Bohdan Boichuk’s Childhood Reveries: A Migrant’s Nostalgia, or, Documenting Pain in Poetry

Maria G. Rewakowicz

Abstract


This paper examines Bohdan Boichuk’s poetry by looking into the role his childhood
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.

Keywords


war and poetry; childhood memories; migrant displacement; Bohdan Boichuk; Gaston Bachelard

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References


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.





Kyiv-Mohyla Humanities Journal
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