In Episode 13 of Multi-Verse, poet Eugene Ostashevsky discusses why the tragic and the ridiculous can—and should—be taken together. War is not only accompanied by stupidity but predicated on it; in acknowledging this, we can undercut authority and the holding pattern of revenge.

The five sonnets Eugene shares in this episode find rebellion in puns, translation, and plosives. A unlikely “support network” appears in the language of Dylan Thomas, Boris Lurie, Isaiah. And violence makes even the sun—that symbol of glory in victory—disgusting, “a red brown stain on sweatpants.”

Ostashevsky’s latest collection, The Feeling Sonnets (New York Review Books, 2022), is available here.

Multi-Verse is a poetry podcast hosted and produced by Evangeline Riddiford Graham, senior managing editor at Public Seminar. To hear more poets share the poems they don’t usually read aloud, visit Multi-Verse at SpotifyApple PodcastsPocket CastsSoundCloud, or For monthly poetry updates direct to your inbox, subscribe to the monthly Multi-Verse newsletter.