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  #1  
Unread 03-28-2022, 08:04 AM
AZ Foreman's Avatar
AZ Foreman AZ Foreman is offline
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Default Vasyl' Stus: 1875 (from Ukrainian)

1875
By Vasyl' Stus

A hundred years since Sich went down.
Siberia. Cells in Solovk.
And dead of night wraps right around
A hellhole land and hellish scream.

A hundred years of tortured dreams,
Of expectations, faith and blood
Of sons all branded for their love,
A hundred hearts like blazing beams.

And from their bast shoes they grow up,    *out from
From cossack breeches on the plain,
From smokey huts slaves grow to sons
Of their one mother, their Ukraine.

You will no longer perish, stout
Land sacked and slaved for centuries.
Oppressors cannot choke you out
With Siberias or Solovks.

You are still suffering in pain,
Still ripped to bits and raggedy.
Already toughened and untame,    *toughing
You have stood tall for liberty.

You grew and grew in anger. Now
You'll get no peace from it. It will
Grow and grow, bit by bit, until
The prison doors at last go down.

As joyful stormy thunders roar
Lightning bolts from the sky. And words,
Shevchenko's prophesying birds
Over the Dnipro's waters soar.

Here's an audio recording of me reading the original.


Here's a version in Roman characters with crib interpolated. Transcribed in a slight adaptation of a rather old and forgotten Latin-letter orthography once meant for general use by native speakers, rather than in the mechanical diacritic-averse transliterations of Ukrainian Cyrillic in use today, because I think those are ugly. I did add accent-marks though.

1875 Rik
The Year 1875

(This was the original title of the poem, though it was removed in later printings of the poem.)

Sto rkіv jak skonа́łа sіč.
Sybr. І sołovе́ćkі kľji.
І hłpа obľahа́je nіč
pеkе́ľnyj krаj і kryk pеkе́ľnyj.


It's been a hundred years since Sich* perished. Siberia. Solovki* cells. And deep night*** wraps around the hellish country and hellish scream.

*Sich - main encampment of the Ukrainian Cossacks until Catherine II ordered it destroyed
** Solovk the Solovk are an archipelago home to an infamous Soviet concentration camp that bore their name. (This wouldn't have existed yet in 1875, when Solovki contained a monastery. When a later line mentions Solovk though, context makes clear that the Soviet entity is meant. Past, present and future are being collapsed in this lyric's universe.)
***"deep night" or "dead of night". The word hlupa literally means "stupid" but when modifying nič "night" it means the late night when everything is still and nothing moves.

Sto rkіv mčеnych nаdj,
і spodіvа́ń, і vіr, і krvі
synv, čo zа ľubv tаvrvаnі...
Sto sе́rć, jak sto pаłаchkotń


A hundred years of tortured hopes, and expectations, and faith, and blood of sons who were branded for love. A hundred hearts like a hundred blazes.

Tа vyrostа́juť z łyčаkv,
іz аrovа́r, z kurnji chty
rаb zrostа́juť do synv
svojji ukrаjny-mtеrі.

Then from their bast shoes they will grow, from sharovars*, from smokey huts slaves grow up into sons of their Ukraine-mother

*Sharovars Cossack riding breeches.

Ty vе́ nе zhnе, ty dvolаvа,
zеmľ, rаbvаnа vіkа́my,
і nе skаrа́ť tеbе́ dutеľam
Sybrаmy і Sołovkа́my.


You will no longer perish. You are hardy, land slaved/robbed* for centuries, nor shall you be punished ( = brought to heel) by oppressors ( = literally "stranglers") with Siberias or Solovks

The verb rabovaty/rabuvaty means "plunder, steal" normally, but can also be used to mean "reduce to slavery" (I assume by influence of the in fact etymologically unrelated rab "slave")

Ty čе vybľujeśa błеm,
ty čе rozdе́rtа nа mаtk,
tа vе, krutа́ і nеpokrnа,
ty vprostаłаśa dľa vlі,


You are still suffering with pain. You are still torn to tatters. You are already tough and unruly, you have stood up for freedom.

Ty hnvom vrosłа. Tеpе́r
nе mа́tymе od ńho spkoju,
jom rost і rost, dopky
nе upаdť ťurе́mnі dvе́rі.

You grew up in rage. Now you will not have any peace from it. It will grow and grow until the prison doors fall.

І rа́dіsnym burе́mnym hrmom
spаdа́juť z nе́bа błyskаvcі,
Tаrа́sovі provsnі ptcі
słovа́ uhа́juť nаd dnіprm.


And with a joyful stormy thunder, lightnings fall from the sky. The prophetic birds of Taras* words, soar/hover over the Dnipro.

* I.e. Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine's national poet, who wrote about Ukrainian liberation (including his most famous poem, arguably the most quoted in the language).

Here's the cyrillic:

1875 Рік

Сто років як сконала Січ.
Сибір. І соловецькі келії.
І глупа облягає ніч
пекельний край і крик пекельний.

Сто років мучених надій,
і сподівань, і вір, і крові
синів, що за любов тавровані,
сто серць, як сто палахкотінь.

Та виростають з личаків,
із шаровар, з курної хати
раби зростають до синів
своєї України-матері.

Ти вже не згинеш, ти двожилава,
земля, рабована віками,
і не скарать тебе душителям
сибірами і соловками.

Ти ще виболюєшся болем,
ти ще роздерта на шматки,
та вже, крута і непокірна,
ти випросталася для волі,

ти гнівом виросла. Тепер
не матимеш од нього спокою,
йому ж рости і рости, допоки
не упадуть тюремні двері.

І радісним буремним громом
спадають з неба блискавиці,
Тарасові провісні птиці
слова шугають над Дніпром.

Last edited by AZ Foreman; 03-31-2022 at 01:27 AM.
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Unread 03-28-2022, 11:24 AM
Susan McLean Susan McLean is offline
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Alex, this looks pretty good, so my suggestions are mainly just small points about meter. The poem feels songlike to me, so I think regularizing the meter might make it even more so. But if you would rather keep the variations to make it sound more conversational, it's your choice.

S3L1 "from their" instead of "out from" might sound more idiomatic

S4L1 "stout" suggests fat in modern speech, so perhaps don't use that as a rhyme word. I might suggest something like

Strong land, you will no longer die,
though sacked and slaved for centuries.
Oppressors cannot choke you by
Siberias or Solovks.

S5L2 maybe "shreds" instead of "bits," since you use "bit" in the next stanza twice

S5L3 "toughened" sounds more natural than "toughing"

S6L3 "keep growing" instead of "grow and grow" to smooth the meter

S7L1-2 maybe "As joyful stormy thunders roar, / bolts flash down from the sky." to smooth the meter

S7L4 "above" instead of "over" for the meter

Susan
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  #3  
Unread 03-31-2022, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan McLean View Post
Alex, this looks pretty good, so my suggestions are mainly just small points about meter. The poem feels songlike to me, so I think regularizing the meter might make it even more so. But if you would rather keep the variations to make it sound more conversational, it's your choice.

S3L1 "from their" instead of "out from" might sound more idiomatic

S4L1 "stout" suggests fat in modern speech, so perhaps don't use that as a rhyme word. I might suggest something like

Strong land, you will no longer die,
though sacked and slaved for centuries.
Oppressors cannot choke you by
Siberias or Solovks.

S5L2 maybe "shreds" instead of "bits," since you use "bit" in the next stanza twice

S5L3 "toughened" sounds more natural than "toughing"

S6L3 "keep growing" instead of "grow and grow" to smooth the meter

S7L1-2 maybe "As joyful stormy thunders roar, / bolts flash down from the sky." to smooth the meter

S7L4 "above" instead of "over" for the meter

Susan

Thank you, Susan. I've incorporated some of these. The "grow and grow" I am particularly attached to since the original rost i rost is so salient in the orignal. Though somehow "grow and grow" doesn't quite capture its punch with its monosyllabic verbs. Hmmmm....

I thought about that stanza some. Maybe my initially discarded idea should be resurrected.

You'll die no longer. You'll stand through,
Land sacked and slaved for centuries.
Oppressors cannot throttle you
With Siberias or Solovks
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Unread 04-02-2022, 12:48 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Hi, Alex. Nice to see (and hear!) you back.

I think one repetition is plenty in this stanza:

     You grew and grew in anger. Now
     You'll get no peace from it. It will
     Grow and grow, bit by bit, until
     The prison doors at last go down.

I would keep "grow and grow," but would change "grew and grew" to something else. I hesitate to suggest an image that isn't in the original, but an English expression like "Your mother's milk was anger" comes to mind, since I do sense a suggestion of anger having been the food that these people were fed by their Ukrainian parents.

You commented about words for "slavery" and "taking" not being etymology related. That surprises me, since Latinate words for "rape" and "taking" are etymologically related. Huh.

Quote:
***"deep night" or "dead of night". The word hlupa literally means "stupid" but when modifying nič "night" it means the late night when everything is still and nothing moves.
"stupored" might suggest both the literal and figurative meanings here.

I hope some of these thoughts are useful and that I don't look too ignorant.
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