Lemko-Ukrainian poet Bohdan Ihor Antonych (1909-37) is not as well-known as such great Slavic Modernist poets as Mandelstam, Pasternak, and Milosz, or their Western European counterparts Eliot, Rilke, and Lorca, but in the opinion of many literary critics he unquestionably should be. Sometimes compared to Walt Whitman and to Dylan Thomas, Antonych, who described himself as “an ecstatic pagan, a poet of the high of spring,” created during his brief lifetime powerful and innovative poetry with astonishing metaphorical constructions. Born in the mountainous Lemko region of Poland, Antonych adopted Ukrainian as his literary language when he moved to Lviv, and virtually transformed the Ukrainian poetic landscape. This essential collection introduces Antonych’s work to new audiences, and includes many first-time English translations, a biographical sketch by Michael M. Naydan, and a comprehensive introduction by Lidia Stefanowska, one of the world’s leading experts on the work of this remarkable Ukrainian poet.
Acknowledgments A Note on the Translation MICHAEL M. NAYDAN A Biographical Sketch of the Poet MICHAEL M. NAYDAN Between Creation and the Apocalypse: The Poetry of Bohdan Ihor Antonych LIDIA STEFANOWSKA
Part I: From the Collection The Grand Harmony (1932–1933) Musica Noctis De Morte I Ars Poetica II, 1 Liber Peregrinorum 3
Part II: From the Collection Three Rings: Long Poems and Lyrics (1934) Self-Portrait Three Rings An Elegy about a Singing Door An Elegy about the Keys to Love An Elegy about the Ring of a Song The Wedding The Country Tavern To the Wind A Landscape from a Window Goblets A Prince Maples The Village Christmas Kolyada The Green Gospel Primordial Summer The Snake The Forest An Elegy on the Ring of Night The Night A Late Hour Morning The Arrow Bitter Wine A Bitter Night A Night on St. George’s Square
Part III: From the Collection The Book of the Lion (1936) The Sign of the Lion Daniel in the Lion’s Den Ballad about the Prophet Jonah A Song about the Light before Time The Samaritan Woman by the Well Six Strophes of Mysticism Roses Carnations Peonies Tulips Violets A Monumental Landscape The Square of Angels Apocalypse Starlion; or The Constellation of the Lion Magicopolis; or How Myths are Born Sands The Round Dance A Song on the Indestructibility of Matter A Prayer to the Stars Red Taffeta The Tale of a Black Regiment
Part IV: From the Collection The Green Gospel (1938) FIRST CHAPTER An Invitation To the Beings from a Green Star An Ecstatic Eight-Strophe Poem FIRST LYRIC INTERMEZZO The First Chapter of the Bible Two Hearts A Portrait of a Carpenter The Fair SECOND CHAPTER The Sign of the Oak Duet The Garden SECOND LYRIC INTERMEZZO A Bird Cherry Poem A Sermon to the Fish Carp Spring Cherry Trees THIRD CHAPTER Goldsea The Fleece A Prayer for the Souls of Drowned Girls Ambassadors of the Night To a Proud Plant, that is, to Myself The Lady of Diamonds The Home beyond a Star
Part V: From the Collection Rotations (1938) Rotations Cities and Muses Ballad of the Alley Forever A Ballad on Azure Death The Bottom of Silence The End of the World The Concert from Mercury Dead Automobiles Trumpets of the Last Day Ending
Part VI: From Poetry not Published in Collections A Lviv Elegy Green Faith A Prayer
Part VII: From the Collection A Welcome to Life (1931) The Mad Fish The Stratosphere The Bee Autumn About a Strophe Autobiography A Welcome to Life
General Index Index of Poem Titles in English Index of Poem Titles in Latin and Ukranian
About the Author BOHDAN IHOR ANTONYCH (1909-37) was born in the mountainous Lemko region of Poland and grew up speaking the Lemko dialect of Ukrainian as well as Polish. After mastering literary Ukrainian during his studies at Lviv University, he began a formidable career as a poet, publishing five books of poetry from 1933-1937, before his untimely death at age 28.
About the Translator MICHAEL M. NAYDAN is the Woskob Family Professor of Ukrainian Studies at The Pennsylvania State University in State College. He is the translator or co-translator of over 40 books, including Zelensky: A Biography, with Alla Perminova.
About the Introduction Author LIDIA STEFANOWSKA is a professor of Slavic literatures at the University of Warsaw in Poland. She is the author of Antonych, Antynomii [Antonych, Antinomies], a deep analysis of Bohdan Ihor Antonych’s work.