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Feature Poet

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This month’s featured poet is: Dmytro Drozdovskyi

I was born on the 18th February 1987, which makes me a young poet by diverse standards. I started school at seven and went to a very good gymnasium #4. I'd written a poem by the age of eight and then went on to write short essays. I studies Latin and Spanish (and certainly English!) there and had read all of G.B. Shaw novels by the age of 15.

My favourite poets and writers are the medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer. John Donne, John Milton, the hymn writer, the metaphysic poet George Herbert and the Scottish dialect poet Robert Burns, Robert Browning, John Keats, William Wordsworth and Alfred Tennyson, Robert Frost, Wilfred Owen, T.S. Eliot, John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, Oliver Goldsmith, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, George Eliot. I also admire Ukrainian writers and poets such as M. Kotsuybynskyi and Lesya Ukrayinka, Olena Teliha and Vasyl Stus, Lina Kostenko and Mykola Vingranovskyi.

I have been involved in the National Academy of Sciences for youth and I am the winner of several poetic competitions: "Southern Lyre", "Christmas Meteoric Shower", "Golden Rose"… Currently I am the advanced philologist at the National University "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy". Last year I became a member of the Canadian Federation of Poets of which I am extremely proud.

I am also the linguist. I have been working on a project related to the origin and development of languages and their influence on a human being, soul and mentality. In 2004 my books "Universal Language of Human Soul" and "Energy of Linguothinking (it's my own linguistic term!) were published in Ukraine. They were written both in Ukrainian and English languages. A famous British writer John Waddington-Feather said in the foreword to my books: 'The ancient Jews believed that words had an intrinsic power of their own, that they could influence people for good or bad. The Apostles and all who followed them in the Christian tradition influenced people for good through their sermons and writings. In recent times, the Communists and Fascists, notably Goebbels, influenced whole nations through their evil propaganda. Words were their medium for brainwashing, for killing the innate spirit of man. I am working on a thesis to develop this and other ideas further'. I absolutely agree with this thought.

Gwyneth Box (a literary critic) says: 'It's always difficult to be objective about your own writing, because of the personal associations. Despite this, if you hope to find a publisher, you must try and write as well as you can, which includes objective assessment and often ruthless editing'. I know that German physiologists have recently shown that poetry can get your heart beating in time with your breaths. This synchronization may improve gas exchange in the lungs as well as the body's sensitivity and responsiveness to blood pressure changes.

Cardiovascular and respiratory responses are not normally in sync. Rhythmic fluctuations in blood pressure take place naturally in 10-second-long cycles known as Mayer waves, whereas spontaneous breathing normally occurs at a rate of approximately 15 breaths per minute. If it is true, poetry does not have any rules and standards at all. Its energy comes from the author's heart and dreams. My poetry is a unique world of my life and my soul. One poet said:
'...Poetry is like a river:
starting in the bloodstream,
it gains momentum, coursing
through capillaries and veins
until the arteries are like
a stream in flood...'

In my opinion, good poetry comes forth when you understand this world and you try to understand your place there. Knowledge is a way to become a part of this world to understand its rules, and poetry - is the light of your heart, which is as wide as your knowledge area. But if you have become an absent-minded professor who lives in the world of theoretical possibilities, because you see everything in terms of how it could be improved, or what it could be turned into, this means that you have lost your poetry gem. If you are the "absent-minded professor", who highly values intelligence and the ability to apply logically to theories to find solutions, you are not a POET. If you have a strong affinity for aesthetics and beauty, you can see beauty in a pile of rubbish, and then you can return the pile of rubbish in the work of art - you are a POET.

Last year we had the Orange revolution in Ukraine. I'm sure that the new spirit of freedom and democracy can only make education better. Now my country is free to pursue its own methods of economy and politics, it should come to the forefront of international culture in the arts and science. If we have a stable and, more importantly, an incorrupt government, Ukraine should blossom.

I am a happy man. Maybe there are some things I might want to change, but when God has been gracious enough to guide my life, I think it would be very ungracious of me to want to change anything. I might have led a better life like everyone else, but I'm grateful to God for his guidance at all times.

From my interview with Alan Corkish

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