On the Edge: ‘Ukraine’: Poem, Meaning and the Fight
On the Edge: ‘Ukraine’
‘Ukraine’, the country’s name itself, means ‘on the edge’ or ‘outskirts’, ‘borderlands’. ‘The term ‘Ukraina’ or ‘Kresy’ was used to define the Polish eastern frontier of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.’ Their current problems arrive from the eastern edge
At the moment, the Ukrainians are fighting for their existence on the edge.
On the Edge – Poem dedicated to Ukraine
War torn, bemused families, living on the edge,
bombs arriving, indiscriminate, without any pledge
to spare the children, innocent, out on the edge.
Each day fear renewed, sleeping on the edge,
waking to a new attack, bogged down in the sedge,
knowing the call of the dark abyss threatening from the edge.
A fighting force with hope supreme, alert on the edge,
focusing on one true aim, defending land and bridge.
Buildings fall but they stand tall, avenging from the edge.
Opposing thoughts of any surrender, even though nerves on edge,
hearts so true, pushing to conquer invasion’s attempt to fledge,
knowing right is by their side, defending at the edge.
Hope will reign, courage will win, even on the edge,
until one final, central push on winter’s battle ridge
brings down the foe who crumble to nought, retreating over the edge,
falling, falling, never to return; no more threats from the edge.
The second largest European country after Russia, Ukraine has had a chequered history leading to its present day troubles. Not only is Ukraine on the edge of Poland but also on the edge of Russia and borders Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova; it has a coastline along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
It is a founding member of the UN, as well as a member of the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organisation and the OSCE. It is in the process of joining the EU and has submitted an application for joining NATO.
It attained independence from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991 but now President Putin seeks to reclaim it, following his invasion in early 2022.
Being ‘on the edge’ can mean you’re vulnerable, pushed to the limits. ‘On edge’ can mean nervous, bothered about a situation, not always knowing what to do. The Ukrainians certainly seem to know what they want to do; reclaim their independence, their freedom, and fight for the return of their land which offers them huge resources in grain exports. Doing so isn’t that easy. A fiercely independent and proud people, the Ukrainians are showing that, no matter what, they are not giving up on their country, wishing to maintain their membership of various world organisations. Its request for membership of NATO seemed to act as a catalyst to Putin’s invasion.
I have followed Putin’s actions and words closely through the media and have been moved several times to write about the courage of the Ukrainians and what I consider to be the ruthlessness and cold cruelty of Putin whose Gods appear to be money, power, and land.
President Zelensky is the only world leader whom I regard with total respect and admiration. He is of and with his people, he is courageous; he rallies, encourages and spurs his armies. It is that willingness to walk among them, to fight for them on the world stage, that creates the extraordinary collectiveness of the Ukrainians, a loyal, unified persona that has the ability to conquer those who seek to take away all they stand for.
For more works by this author see Ann Carr on The Creative Exiles.
You can also read more works by Ann Carr on Hubpages.
- On the Edge: ‘Ukraine’: Poem, Meaning and the Fight - January 19, 2023
- Snowing up a Scene:Form, Impact and Wonder - January 18, 2023
- The Wind out of Your Sails - January 5, 2023
6 thoughts on “On the Edge: ‘Ukraine’: Poem, Meaning and the Fight”
Educational and heart felt presentation on the conflict in Ukraine. Very well done Ann. Thank you for the reminders of the horror of war. Jamie
Thank you, Jamie. I never cease to wonder at their determination and courage, as I also wonder why Putin is so evil.
I appreciate your visit and hope all is well with you.
Nice work Ann. The fight in Ukraine is tough. I can’t help but give partial blame to Biden as well. Putin is a horrible person and he will meet his judgment soon. I, myself and part Ukrainian. The scar Ukraine has to me, is it is the mecca for bureaucrats to wash their dirty money, and it has been for some time now. Take all that away and let’s focus on this wonderful piece of poetry you gave us. The flow is magnificent, the intensity can be cut with a knife. Very good work Ann.
Thank you, Paul, for such generous comments. When I feel strongly about a subject, I find that it produces better writing; the passion is there.
Yes, there are always negative sides to anywhere I suppose. Politics and money always dominate and raise their ugly heads. Interesting that you are part Ukrainian; you must feel even more emotional about it.
Great to see you comment on my work; much appreciated.
Ann, I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on President Zelensky. “President Zelenski is the only world leader whom I regard with total respect and admiration. He is of and with his people, he is courageous; he rallies, encourages and spurs his armies. It is that willingness to walk among them, to fight for them on the world stage, that creates the extraordinary collectiveness of the Ukrainians, a loyal, unified persona that has the ability to conquer those who seek to take away all they stand for.”
What you wrote there could have come from my own pen. I often think of him and know of no other world leader who will walk among and fight with his people, putting himself in harm’s way to defend his country and protect his people. President Zelensky is an amazing, remarkable man.
I commend you for writing in the public stage about Ukraine and her people. Excellent work. Well done, Ann.
Thank you, Phyllis. I feel so strongly about the situation in Ukraine; Arthur and I follow it avidly. There have been several tv programmes on PBS America which have tracked Putin’s rise to ‘fame’ and shed light on his character – interesting and chilling. It seems he’s obsessed with reuniting the old USSR with no regard for anything else. I just wish Europe and the US would send more help, though they have recently made a bit more effort.
I appreciate your kind words, and thank you also for highlighting my poem ‘Snowing up a Scene’ today.
Keep safe and well, Phyllis.