Instructions on Not Giving Up

Here is what I found in my email box this morning.

This is the imprisoned Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin’s handwritten response (sent through FSIN-Pismo to the awesome volunteers at RosUznik, who forwarded it to me) to the letter that I sent to Mr. Yashin less than three weeks ago. He writes:

Hello, Thomas!

I think I remember the public event in Petersburg that you mentioned. Those were wild times. We can probably be proud that even back then we were not silent and tried to resist. But it’s a pity that there were so relatively few of us.

Thank you for the support!

Please give my warmest wishes to your spouse.

Best regards,

Ilya Yashin

Mr. Yashin’s letter is just the ticket for an obnoxious cold that has laid me low for the last week. And it finally gives me a proper excuse to publish on this blog something I got in the mail around the same time as I was translating the social media post by Mr. Yashin that prompted my letter to him. This “poem in your pocket” was sent to me by the American Academy of Poets in celebration of April’s National Poetry Month. I’ve been keeping it in eyeshot, right next to my computer. Ada Limón is the Poet Laureate of the United States, and her poem seems to “rhyme” with the Yuri Levitansky poem from Mr. Yashin’s post. ||| TRR

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