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News > Arnold Foundation News > A Mural in Celebration of Mariya

A Mural in Celebration of Mariya

On 16 May we welcomed Mariya and her family, the girls in Bradley House, and members of the Rugby School and Arnold Foundation team for a mural unveiling in celebration of Mariya's translation of the poem 'Story for Return' by Victoria Amelina. 

Mariya came to Rugby School as an Arnold Foundation student after fleeing Ukraine at the start of the full-scale war, and we are delighted to celebrate her award-winning poetry translation, as well as her time at the School.

We marked this wonderful moment with a handwritten mural by Myroslava Coates, a Ukrainian freehand graphic artist. Myro filled the windows of the MFL with the words of the translated poem. What an extraordinarily special piece of art to commemorate Mariya's achievement, and a very moving moment for her family, teachers, and fellow students to be part of. 

Congratulations Mariya!


"I wanted to translate this poem in memory of Victoria. She died a few days before I finished the translation. I feel very connected to her as a writer and a person, as she was always concerned about the people who lived near the conflict line. I got to know her as an organiser of the New York Literature Festival in Ukranian New York, where I'm from initially. After the festival, we had a lovely educational trip to Kyiv and Lviv, and a few weeks after our return, the full-scale war started. This trip was one of the most magical periods of my life. However, I had to evacuate shortly because of the full-scale war. Again. For the second time in my life, hoping that I will return soon."

Mariya, Bradley House



"When Mira was leaving the house, she took a bead from a tiny box
When Tim was leaving the city, he picked up a stone from a street
When Yarka was abandoning the garden, she took an orange seed
When Vira was leaving her house – nothing she took
I’ll come back soon, she said
and took absolutely nothing

Mira raised a jewellery box from a bead
Raising her new House in this tiny box
Tim founded a new city from stone
City is looking familiar,
Despite there’s no sea
Yarka has planted a seed of orange
A garden around a seed became Yarka’s

And Vira
who’s taken nothing
Is telling this story

When leaving the House,
she’s telling
House behind gets smaller
to save itself
The House is turning
into a grey pebble
a bead
a seed from a last year’s orange tree
a piece of glass that hurts in a palm all the way
a piece of Lego
a shell from Crimea
a sunflower’s seed
a button from father’s fatigues

Then House can fit in the pocket
and there it sleeps

Take out the House from pocket
in a safer place
When ready

The House will grow by bit
And you will never
remember, never
be without your House

And what have you taken with you?
I took only this story
about return
Here, I brought it to light
It expands"

Translated by Mariya in the memory of Victoria Amelina

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