Chastushka Contest Highlights Cost of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

April 25 17:33 2022
Chastushka Contest Highlights Cost of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
The Save Ukraine Network is conducting a search for the best short poems (Chastushkas) to convey the world’s feelings about Putin’s invasion

The Save Ukraine Network has just completed the first phase of the Ukraine Chastushka contest. According to group co-founder Svetlana Shevchenko, “Chastushkas are short poems, popular in both Russia and Ukraine, consisting of four lines in trochaic tetrameter, which often have a satirical subject matter. They correspond roughly to the English limerick, Japanese Haiku, Arabic or Farsi Ghazal, Indian Naani, Korean Sijo, and Malaysian Pantoum. We requested Chastushkas that convey people’s opinions about the Ukraine invasion.”

“Believe it or not, we received entries in all these forms, even though we asked only for Chastushkas.

The original plan was to award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes, but then we thought it would be better to confer the Save Ukraine Order of Merit on all worthy submissions. Here are some of the latest entries. We will reveal the authors’ names after the second phase of the contest (except for those who wish to remain anonymous)

These are classic Chastushkas, 4 lines in trochaic tetrameter:

from Ukraine:

Putin craves the World’s reverence.
“See what Russia can achieve!”
If genocide’s what earns our homage,
Mr.P has over-achieved.

Vladimir thinks Mother Russia
can RISE UP again, through war;
If Ukraine’s death’s not sufficient,
No problem! He can kill some MORE!

from Moldova:

Through Tchaikovsky, Pushkin, Chekhov,
Russia earned the world’s acclaim
Now, they seek respect through Missiles
Putin thinks they’re one and the same.

from Russia (that’s right):

Great novels, music, art, and wisdom
Gained Russia once the world’s aplomb
Putin thinks “I’ll bring those days back!
I can’t write, but I can BOMB!

Here is a free verse Naani from India:

Putin’s proud of his grandparents who survived the Leningrad Nazi siege…
Now HE has placed Kharkiv, Sloviansk, Mariupol and dozens of other cities under siege…
Because the two situations are completely different… right?

A sijo from Argentina:

Can you hide your crimes from the world, Mr. Putin?
putin has turned Ukraine into a giant Auschwitz
Major difference:
Auschwitz residents didn’t have 25 million cell phone cameras
Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Putin!

a Haiku from Japan:

You were a great country.
Gave the world Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy
Look at you now!”

Entries will accepted until the deadline of June 1. They may be sent to [email protected]

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