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This report is taken from PN Review 203, Volume 38 Number 3, January - February 2012.

Yury Gagarin in London Mariya Galina and Valentina Polukhina
On 14 July a statue of Yury Gagarin was unveiled by his daughter Elena in London, outside the headquarters of the British Council, opposite the statue of Captain Cook. This commemorates Gagarin's visit to London fifty years ago. He lunched with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and met the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Next year the statue will be moved to Manchester, with the help of Gurbir Singh, author of the book Yuri Gagarin in London and Manchester. This poem was written by Moscow poet Mariya Galina, at the suggestion of Prince Michael of Kent, who gave the opening speech in Russian on the occasion.


Photo of Unveiling of Yury Gagarin's Statue in London

Ode to the Unveiling of Yury Gagarin's Statue in London
Mariya Galina

... And this
planet, where it's not as hard to be granite,
and bronze, giving out coolness
as a peasant born in bones and flesh
where the hero, tired of facing death
cannot be reached by the
baying harshness of secret power...
than turn bronze in life like a monument,
it is easier, ditching laments,
to watch a prestigious, yet strange parliament,
while ladettes of extraordinary beauty
cut through the sea draught like gulls
near your mount...
with your eyes, immune to cataracts,
examine a world where terrorist ...

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