Ilya Kaminsky | The Sun Magazine

Ilya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky came to the United States in 1993 from Odessa, in the former Soviet Union. He lives in California and is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press).

— From August 2005
The Sun Interview

The Saint, The Murderer, All Of It

Li-Young Lee’s Poetry Of Reconciliation

I believe the only possible ethical consciousness is one that accounts for the whole human being, that doesn’t leave any of it out — and this is precisely what poetry can achieve. On a social scale, this would be a government that accounts for all of its population — the poor, the rich, women, men, children, old people, black, white. Poetry is a way to integrate all of who we are: the saint, the murderer, all of it. By this, I don’t mean to suggest that we give the murderer free rein, but we have to account for that aspect of human psychology and understand it, not just push it aside.

August 2005
Free Trial Issue Are you ready for a closer look at The Sun?

Request a free trial, and we’ll mail you a print copy of this month’s issue. Plus you’ll get full online access — including 50 years of archives.
Request A Free Issue