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17th October 2020

Poems by Dana Kenzhekeyeva

New to Manchester, Erasmus student Dana Kenzhekeyeva describes her experience of lockdown in two new poems
Poems by Dana Kenzhekeyeva
Photo by Andrew Stutesman on Unsplash


The world. 

The absolute degree of its representation

All the shapes of it.

Until now it was approximately

only an idea of what lay underneath

Formed and shaped 

by waters – deep, 

and vibrant, 

and blue.


The whole world started 

looking different 

Its elegance had faltered

the vivid and dynamic shapes

have become a geometric figure – 

sharp and distinct borders 


unless you’re one of those 

who draw them.


You imitate a life 

lived before, 

before you realized 

that borders have always been 

as sharp as now. 

They were just on the maps, 

and now they are in your life. 


You are not a global citizen


You are caught on the Lockdown

which represents the virtual planet

you have to settle down

without leaving your own place.

Armed with a cup of tea

and a high-speed internet connection,

you are to enter and to celebrate 

the e-phase of your so-called life.

Dana is an Erasmus student from Hamburg, Germany, and originally from Kazakhstan. She is studying English Linguistics and says she is happy to be here, even if only for one semester during COVID-19.

When the pandemic first started, she was trapped in a foreign country and had the urgent feeling to return back ‘home’, but couldn’t. In that situation of waiting for return flights and lifting of lockdown restrictions, it occurred to her that sometimes despite the inability to change the situation at hand, time is always ours to make the best of. Her poetry recalls those trapped feelings within borders she was not aware of. She writes of adjusting to the rapid changes occurring in the world and details her struggles with adapting to a new reality. 


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