I Felt In Soul And Body by Varlam Shalamov

I felt in soul and body,

for the first time in years,

the silence after a blizzard,

the even light of the stars.


Should the magi wish to see

their kindness to the end,

they’d bring me sheets of paper

A candle. Matches. And a pen.


by Варлам Тихонович Шаламов (Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov)


translated by Robert Chandler


Purple Honey by Varlam Shalamov

From a frost-chilled

line of poetry

my anguish will drop

like a ripe berry.


Rosehip juice will dye

fine crystals of snow –

and a stranger will smile

on his lonely way.


Blending dirty sweat

with the purity of a tear,

he will carefully collect

the tinted crystals.


He sucks tart sweetness,

this purple honey,

and his dried mouth

twists in happiness.


by Варлам Тихонович Шаламов (Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov)


translated by Robert Chandler

Tools by Varlam Shalamov

Our tools are primitive

and simple:

a rouble’s worth of paper,

a hurrying pencil,


we need no more

to build a castle –

high in the air –

above the world’s bustle.


Dante needed nothing else

to build gates

into that Hell hole

founded on ice.


by Варлам Тихонович Шаламов (Varlam Tikhonovich Shalamov)


translated by Robert Chandler

International Childrens Day 1st June and 1979 the International Year of the Child

Happy International Children’s Day everyone!

Children’s Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world, to honour children globally. It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 to protect an “appropriate” day.

The International Day for Protection of Children, is observed in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1 since 1950, was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on its congress in Moscow (22 November 1949). Major global variants include a Universal Children’s Day on November 20, by the United Nations‘ recommendation.

JUNE 1 USE THIS international childrens day soviet 1979

Here is a Russian pin badge celebrating UNESCO’s declaration that 1979 would be the International Year of the Child.

The Cyrillic translates as follows:

международный = International
год ребенка = Year of the Child (lit. Year Child)

UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child. The proclamation was signed on January 1, 1979 by United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. A follow-up to the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the proclamation was intended to draw attention to problems that affected children throughout the world, including malnutrition and lack of access to education. Many of these efforts resulted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Numerous events took place within the UN and in member countries to mark the event, including the Music for the UNICEF Concert, held at the UN General Assembly on January 9. WBZ-TV 4 in Boston, Massachusetts, along with the four other Group W stations, hosted and broadcast a celebratory festival, ‘Kidsfair’, usually held around Labour Day ever since, from Boston Common. Canadian animator/director Eugene Fedorenko created a film for the National Film Board of Canada, called “Every Child“, which centred on a nameless baby who nobody wants because they’re too busy with their own concerns. This was used to explain the importance of how every child is entitled to a home. Sound effects were created with the voices of Les Mimes Electriques.


…The pin badge, to a modern eye, does look more than a little bit racist doesn’t it?

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