'Freedom is a Verb': Boris A. Novak's Poem of Solidarity with Ukraine

'Freedom is a Verb': Boris A. Novak's Poem of Solidarity with Ukraine

Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we have received hundreds of messages of solidarity from around the world. Slovene poet Boris A. Novak wrote the poem Svoboda Je Glagol (Freedom is a Verb) and translated it into English. In his address, he said: "I would like to express my solidarity with PEN Ukraine and all the people of Ukraine in this difficult and dangerous time. I’ve been crying a lot in the last days watching the news from your country, and at the same time admiring the dignity and courage of Ukrainians. Such a human power cannot be defeated."


Love is a verb.
Monika van Paemel

Freedom is not the frozen memory of the monument
Freedom is not a slogan of the political establishment
Freedom is not a mode of payment in the legal code
Freedom is not an empty meaning of the noun in the wordage
Of the Cambridge Dictionary of the English Language
Freedom is the loudest whisper, a wing, a windy message

Freedom is not a bunker, a shit made of armoured concrete
Freedom is not a flight, an illusion of the retreat
Freedom is neither an order nor a forbidden border
Freedom is less and more than laws of the lockdown
Freedom is nothing and freedom is a crown

Freedom is laughing and staring and daring
And changing now and here and everywhere
Freedom is a breath and the air
Stronger than destruction and despair

Freedom is not gold, cannot be bought or sold
Freedom is not guaranteed by its guardian, by the statehood
Freedom is much more expensive, freedom is attitude

Freedom is an unknown road, here, at our threshold
Freedom is a voice, deadly fragile and superb

Freedom is a verb, freedom is a verb


Ljubezen je glagol.
Monika van Paemel

Svoboda ni slaven spomin spomenika
Svoboda ni prazna beseda politika
Svoboda ni pika ne piker klicaj zakonika
Svoboda ni mrtev pomen samostalnika
V Slovarju slovenskega knjižnega jezika
Svoboda je živa kri, krilo, razkriljenost krika

Svoboda ni bunker iz tone betona
Svoboda ni drek iz nesmrtnega brona
Svoboda ni beg, iluzija balona
Svoboda je manj in je več od zakona
Svoboda je nič in svoboda je krona

Svoboda se smeje, spreminja in sanja
Svoboda je zdanja in zmeraj brezdanja
Svoboda je dih in je zrak ki ohranja
Dejanje močnejše od zla razdejanja

Svoboda ni nespremenljiva postava
Svobode nam ne zagotavlja država
Svoboda je dražja, svoboda je drža

Svoboda ni znana, neznanska pot je, tu, pred pragom
Svoboda je glas, na smrt ranjen in gol

Svoboda je glagol, svoboda je glagol

Boris A. Novak
may 20, 2022
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