‘We Lived Happily During the War’ A Poem by Ilya Kaminsky

From his Collection Deaf Republic

March 5, 2019  By Ilya Kaminsky
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And when they bombed other people’s houses, we

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protested
but not enough, we opposed them but not

enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America

was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house—

I took a chair outside and watched the sun.

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In the sixth month
of a disastrous reign in the house of money

in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,
our great country of money, we (forgive us)

lived happily during the war.

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“We Lived Happily during the War” © 2019 by Ilya Kaminsky. From Deaf Republic and used by permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.




Ilya Kaminsky
Ilya Kaminsky
Ilya Kaminsky is the author of the acclaimed poetry collection Deaf Republic, which was called a work of “profound imagination” by The New Yorker and was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. He is also the author of Dancing In Odessa and Musica Humana. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, and China. Kaminsky lost most of his hearing at age four after a misdiagnosis of mumps as a cold. In the late 1990s, Kaminsky co-founded Poets For Peace, an organization that sponsors poetry readings in the US and abroad. He currently holds the Bourne Chair in Poetry and is Director of Poetry@Tech at Georgia Tech.








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