Whitby Writers Group

a self-help writers co-operative

Lviv – or is it Lvov?

Lvov – or Lviv –
The Ukraine is of.
A fine place to live is
Lviv – or Lvov.

Lvov, for the tourist,
Has oceans to give:
There are very fine parks in
Lvov – or Lviv.

For its odd appellation
It’s superlative.
The cream of the nation:
Lvov – or Lviv.

But there’s something remaining
That’s hard to conceal:
Its name in Ukranian
Sounds like “Ulveel”.

The Poles, if you ask them,
Respond with a “pouf!”
The way they pronounce it,
It sounds like “Le’voof”.

And there are the people
Who’d have you believe
That the name of the city
Is really “Elveev”.

So beware, if your memory
Leaks like a sieve.
You’d better take care in
Lvov  – or Lviv.

It’s something the locals
Find hard to forgive,
If you make a mistake
and pronounce it “Le’viv”.

Or “Le’vov”.

Ian Clark
Summer, 2018

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