Bohdan Boichuk’s Childhood Reveries: A Migrant’s Nostalgia, or, Documenting Pain in Poetry

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This paper examines Bohdan Boichuk’s poetry by looking into the role his childhood memories played in forming his poetic imagination. Displaced by World War II, the poet displays a unique capacity to transcend his traumatic experiences by engaging in creative writing. Eyewitnessing war atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis does not destroy his belief in the healing power of poetry; on the contrary, it makes him appreciate poetry as the only existentially worthy enterprise. Invoking Gaston Bachelard’s classic work The Poetics of Reveries: Childhood, Language, and the Cosmos, I argue that Boichuk’s vivid childhood memories, however painful they might be, helped him poetically recreate and reimagine fateful moments of his migrant life.
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Archival date: 2019-04-25
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