The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Russia’s new economy minister also a ‘dissident poet’

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The Global Post brings us news of another (yes there’s more than one) high ranking Russian offical that is also a poet:

Russia’s newly appointed economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev has written a harshly-worded poem urging Russians to leave the country and seek freedom, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported Tuesday.

President Vladimir Putin appointed Ulyukayev, 57, a former deputy central bank governor, as minister on Monday in a widely anticipated move.

But the minister is also a published poet who has written verses that “are not at all patriotic,” Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote, saying that his political verses “put you in shock.”

Two years ago Ulyukayev published a poem in the prestigious Znamya, or banner, journal that compares Russia to a prison camp and begins “Get out, my son, get out of here.”

It encourages Russians to go “where a convoy of prison guards does not always send its men against boys” and “where there is not always a gag in your mouth.”

“It can be that people speak the truth./ Your head can be high and your feet down low,” he writes.

In the poem quoted in full, Ulyukayev writes longingly of a place “where they do not scatter rotten wood in bread and don’t laugh at the down-and-out,” sparking associations with adulterated bread rations during World War II.

The soberly suited minister began publishing poetry as a student and has published several books of his verses, Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote.

The former deputy central bank governor was a close ally of Yegor Gaidar, the late economist who forged the highly unpopular reforms of the early 1990s.

He served as first deputy finance minister during President Putin’s first term in office.

Ulyukayev is not Russia’s only highly placed poet.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lists writing poetry as one of his hobbies and wrote the lyrics of the student anthem of his alma mater, Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Influential strategist Vladislav Surkov, who stepped down as deputy prime minister in May, has written lyrics for Goth band Agata Kristi.


Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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