Pavlo Tychyna's poem Enharmonies starts as follows:

Above the swamp milk is spun...
A black raven lost in thought
A grey raven is musing
It pecked out eyes. God knows whose.

I'm confused by this, though. What is "swamp milk"? Also, what is a grey raven?

  • 2
    Couldn't it be "Above the swamp, milk is spun"? (Still leaves open the question of what it means to spin milk, though.)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Sep 9, 2022 at 15:50
  • Is this a translation? And if so, are you fluent in the original language? Perhaps the original language might have more inflection/declension/conjugation to offer insights on the correct parsing.
    – shoover
    Sep 9, 2022 at 22:37
  • @shoover I unfortunately don't read any Ukrainian :( Sep 10, 2022 at 2:51
  • 1
    original text: ukrbooks.com/ua/Engarmonijne_tuman
    – Andra
    Sep 10, 2022 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


"Enharmonies" is divided into four parts: Fog, Sun, Wind, and Rain. As the stanza quoted is from the first part,"Fog", it seems likely that the "spun milk" is simply a description of the fog swirling above the swamp. Describing fog as milk-like is fairly common in poetry.

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