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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Power of Poetry

An overwhelming love for poetry-writing has taken our ten-year-old daughter Sashenka by storm.  Having been exposed to the English language for less than two years, the sounds of the still-at-times-strange tongue mesmerized our miniature motor mouth who lived for mindless chatter, mostly of her own making.

Her poetry reflected this penchant for pratter.  Unlimited by the measured meter of limericks, sonnets, or haiku, her free-flowing flair knew no bounds.


Poatre by Sashenka (Sily one)

“I will make you cocanut pie

Pumkin inside and

Cheese cream outsid.”


My very own beatnik bohemian, Greenwich Village guru, good enough to grace our humble home….  We should have directed her earlier to memorizing Robert Frost and Walt Whitman as her older brother had enjoyed.  He had no illusions to writing poetry, he had memorized others’ works.  Yet for Sashenka, nothing would substitute for an original penned by her own little hand.


“Straberies are sweat

and grapes are sweat

and apples are sweat

and you seem like a suager cube.”


Do you see a pattern emerging?

Poor spelling, yes, but I was actually referring to food.  This diminutive child waxes eloquent and speaks longingly of what she was deprived of for so many years:  food that would fill her up and nourish her soul.

But before there was food, there were words that nourished her.  Through the abundance of her non-stop conversation, she reinforced to herself that she was still alive and vibrant.  She mattered.  She existed.  Because she spoke, and spoke, and spoke.

Thus by blending her two favorite subjects, food and talk, talk and food, she felt nourished and warm and alive.  Poetry had that kind of power.


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12 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Greg says:

    Our 15 year old Ukrainian loves poetry. Like the Russian techno-beat music that I will occasionally hear played in her room, the poetry is like comfort food for her soul. She has memorized numerous very long pieces. Some of them she has described to me. I have attempted to translate others with limited success at what the author was trying to convey. But the one constant I have found is they generally speak of a re-birth as a new person, a new life or a new love and occasionally a dragon…but we’ll leave that one for another time! Like the lyrics to a good song, some things just touch the soul in a way that connects the blackness of the past to the brightness of the future. Poetry does that for our girl. And obviously it does the same for Sashenka. Whether it be the reliable supply of food that once wasn’t or the chance for a new future, playing a part in bringing the poem to life is far more rewarding than reading it- at least to me. How blessed we are to be able to help a child in this way! And all that talk of food made me hungry for some “straberies” or “strawsbarys” as they are called at our house. 🙂

    • avatar admin says:

      Poetry and music are part of the Russian soul, that’s for sure. I remember meeting our first son and he stood to recite “Osyehn na Pushkin” (Autumn by Alexander Pushkin). It was so cute, I videotaped it. We might need to direct her toward the classics, lol…. I bought all of the kids “Mother Goose for Wee Ones” in December and although none of them are very young any more, they never learned some of the childhood nursery rhymes and love to look them over. I saw Sashenka’s out the other day. Some of them are very dark: “When the bough breaks, the baby will fall….” Maybe I should just count my blessings with her unique (happy) approach-!

      (Greg – I think you’re putting the 3-D website in the space where you can put a site– they’re not asking for ours, they’re asking for yours, if you want it to be listed. I sometimes remember to take it out– I don’t want anyone thinking that you’re: me! Now that’s a scary thought…. Then again, if you’re wearing heels…)

  2. avatar Phyllis says:

    Very interesting perspectiive about all the chatter. Hhhhmmmm. I’ll be dwelling on that nugget the rest of the day. And I do love her poetry. Those would go into her special box if she were in our family. : )

  3. avatar Gwendolyn says:

    New sandals today! But still no photos!

    I wish I could get our kids hooked on poetry. Rhyme would help them so much, but they are both sick with Bieber-fever.

    Better that than Giardia (beaver fever), but just barely. 🙂

  4. avatar matryoshka wendy says:

    Have lived with or are living with both beiber fever and beaver fever. Jupiter is not writing poetry (yet), but her teacher has told me numerous times what a talented writer she is…I fully expect to see future poetry.

    • avatar admin says:

      That is wonderful, Wendy! Kids who can write or speak (coherently -vs- profusely-!) will have a fantastic future. Poetry is icing on the cake! Yum.

  5. avatar Sybil says:

    And we have another poetry writer and lover in our Russian daughter. Like Sashenka, she has expressed much about her early years . When she got news of the death of her Russian Mother, she later wrote a poem that got her invited to a a week long session put on by the Eugene O’Neill Foundation. So keep those poems and look for contests and maybe even scholarships your children could qualify for. Sashenka, YOU seem like a sugar cube !

    • avatar admin says:

      Hey, that is too cool, Sybil–quite an accomplishment! Thanks for letting all of us know about the possibilities. Right now, I feel like dunking the little sugar cube into… something! Everyone turned in their Hebrew homework first thing this morning, and she was the only one who decided she didn’t want to conjugate verbs in any normal form. Her freeflowing lifestyle is taking on a life of its own…! Aiyyhhhggg!!!

  6. avatar Wrenn says:

    Maybe a food critic in the making?

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