Literature in English-speaking world

Halloween in literature.

Картинки по запросу фото книга и хэллоуин

We all will celebrate the lovely holiday - Halloween very soon. There is much information about this holiday, but I decided to gather some information about Halloween in literature.
Halloween  or Hallowe’en, as in ‘All Hallows’ Eve’  is a Scottish term, first recorded in print in 1556 (where it’s spelled, almost unrecognisably, ‘Halhalon’).
This Scottish origin of the specific word ‘Halloween’ was continued when Robert Burns wrote a poem titled ‘Halloween’ in the late eighteenth century.
Картинки по запросу illustrations to halloween by Robert burns
Illustration by J.M.Wright and Edward Scriven
Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the route is ta'en,
Beneath the moon's pale beams;
There, up the cove, to stray and rove,
Among the rocks and streams
To sport that night.
Among the bonny winding banks,
Where Doon rins, wimplin' clear,
Where Bruce ance ruled the martial ranks,
And shook his Carrick spear,
Some merry, friendly, country-folks,
Together did convene,
To burn their nits, and pou their stocks,
And haud their Halloween
Fu' blithe that night.
The lasses feat, and cleanly neat,
Mair braw than when they're fine;
Their faces blithe, fu' sweetly kythe,
Hearts leal, and warm, and kin';
The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs,
Weel knotted on their garten,
Some unco blate, and some wi' gabs,
Gar lasses' hearts gang startin'
Whiles fast at night.
Then, first and foremost, through the kail,
Their stocks maun a' be sought ance;
They steek their een, and graip and wale,
For muckle anes and straught anes.
Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift,
And wander'd through the bow-kail,
And pou't, for want o' better shift,
A runt was like a sow-tail,
Sae bow't that night.
Then, staught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar and cry a' throu'ther;
The very wee things, todlin', rin,
Wi' stocks out owre their shouther;
And gif the custoc's sweet or sour.
Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne cozily, aboon the door,
Wi cannie care, they've placed them
To lie that night.
The lasses staw frae 'mang them a'
To pou their stalks of corn:
But Rab slips out, and jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn:
He grippet Nelly hard and fast;
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
When kitlin' in the fause-house
Wi' him that night.
The auld guidwife's well-hoordit nits,
Are round and round divided,
And monie lads' and lasses' fates
Are there that night decided:
Some kindle coothie, side by side,
And burn thegither trimly;
Some start awa, wi' saucy pride,
And jump out-owre the chimlie
Fu' high that night.
Jean slips in twa wi' tentie ee;
Wha 'twas she wadna tell;
But this is Jock, and this is me,
She says in to hersel:
He bleezed owre her, and she owre him,
As they wad never mair part;
Till, fuff! he started up the lum,
And Jean had e'en a sair heart
To see't that night.
Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt,
Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie;
And Mallie, nae doubt, took the drunt,
To be compared to Willie;
Mall's nit lap out wi' pridefu' fling,
And her ain fit it brunt it;
While Willie lap, and swore by jing,
'Twas just the way he wanted
To be that night.
Nell had the fause-house in her min',
She pits hersel and Rob in;
In loving bleeze they sweetly join,
Till white in ase they're sobbin';
Nell's heart was dancin' at the view,
She whisper'd Rob to leuk for't:
Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonny mou',
Fu' cozie in the neuk for't,
Unseen that night.
But Merran sat behint their backs,
Her thoughts on Andrew Bell;
She lea'es them gashin' at their cracks,
And slips out by hersel:
She through the yard the nearest taks,
And to the kiln goes then,
And darklins graipit for the bauks,
And in the blue-clue throws then,
Right fear't that night.
And aye she win't, and aye she swat,
I wat she made nae jaukin',
Till something held within the pat,
Guid Lord! but she was quakin'!
But whether 'was the deil himsel,
Or whether 'twas a bauk-en',
Or whether it was Andrew Bell,
She didna wait on talkin'
To spier that night.
Wee Jennie to her grannie says,
"Will ye go wi' me, grannie?
I'll eat the apple at the glass
I gat frae Uncle Johnnie:"
She fuff't her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vap'rin',
She notice't na, an aizle brunt
Her braw new worset apron
Out through that night.
"Ye little skelpie-limmer's face!
I daur you try sic sportin',
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune.
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
For mony a ane has gotten a fright,
And lived and died deleeret
On sic a night.
"Ae hairst afore the Sherramoor, --
I mind't as weel's yestreen,
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure
I wasna past fifteen;
The simmer had been cauld and wat,
And stuff was unco green;
And aye a rantin' kirn we gat,
And just on Halloween
It fell that night.
"Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen,
A clever sturdy fallow:
His son gat Eppie Sim wi' wean,
That lived in Achmacalla:
He gat hemp-seed, I mind it weel,
And he made unco light o't;
But mony a day was by himsel,
He was sae sairly frighted
That very night."
Then up gat fechtin' Jamie Fleck,
And he swore by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck;
For it was a' but nonsense.
The auld guidman raught down the pock,
And out a hanfu' gied him;
Syne bade him slip frae 'mang the folk,
Some time when nae ane see'd him,
And try't that night.
He marches through amang the stacks,
Though he was something sturtin;
The graip he for a harrow taks.
And haurls it at his curpin;
And every now and then he says,
"Hemp-seed, I saw thee,
And her that is to be my lass,
Come after me, and draw thee
As fast this night."
He whistled up Lord Lennox' march
To keep his courage cheery;
Although his hair began to arch,
He was say fley'd and eerie:
Till presently he hears a squeak,
And then a grane and gruntle;
He by his shouther gae a keek,
And tumbled wi' a wintle
Out-owre that night.
He roar'd a horrid murder-shout,
In dreadfu' desperation!
And young and auld came runnin' out
To hear the sad narration;
He swore 'twas hilchin Jean M'Craw,
Or crouchie Merran Humphie,
Till, stop! she trotted through them
And wha was it but grumphie
Asteer that night!
Meg fain wad to the barn hae gaen,
To win three wechts o' naething;
But for to meet the deil her lane,
She pat but little faith in:
She gies the herd a pickle nits,
And two red-cheekit apples,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,
In hopes to see Tam Kipples
That very nicht.
She turns the key wi cannie thraw,
And owre the threshold ventures;
But first on Sawnie gies a ca'
Syne bauldly in she enters:
A ratton rattled up the wa',
And she cried, Lord, preserve her!
And ran through midden-hole and a',
And pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,
Fu' fast that night;
They hoy't out Will wi' sair advice;
They hecht him some fine braw ane;
It chanced the stack he faddom'd thrice
Was timmer-propt for thrawin';
He taks a swirlie, auld moss-oak,
For some black grousome carlin;
And loot a winze, and drew a stroke,
Till skin in blypes cam haurlin'
Aff's nieves that night.
A wanton widow Leezie was,
As canty as a kittlin;
But, och! that night amang the shaws,
She got a fearfu' settlin'!
She through the whins, and by the cairn,
And owre the hill gaed scrievin,
Whare three lairds' lands met at a burn
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,
Was bent that night.
Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As through the glen it wimpl't;
Whyles round a rocky scaur it strays;
Whyles in a wiel it dimpl't;
Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle;
Whyles cookit underneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel,
Unseen that night.
Among the brackens, on the brae,
Between her and the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,
Gat up and gae a croon:
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hool!
Near lav'rock-height she jumpit;
but mist a fit, and in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,
Wi' a plunge that night.
In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies three are ranged,
And every time great care is ta'en',
To see them duly changed:
Auld Uncle John, wha wedlock joys
Sin' Mar's year did desire,
Because he gat the toom dish thrice,
He heaved them on the fire
In wrath that night.
Wi' merry sangs, and friendly cracks,
I wat they didna weary;
And unco tales, and funny jokes,
Their sports were cheap and cheery;
Till butter'd so'ns, wi' fragrant lunt,
Set a' their gabs a-steerin';
Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt,
They parted aff careerin'
Fu' blythe that night.

There is a Russian variant of this poem written by Yuriy Knyazev

В ту ночь, когда у фей страда -
У замка Донанс бал.
И по горам, и по долам,
Их легкий сонм скакал.
Где на Колин среди долин,
Струился свет луны,
И там, где Грот, у мрачных вод,
Ручьи и валуны,
Бродить всю ночь.
У этих дивных берегов, 
Где Дун бежал, петляя,
Где Брюс, бывало, бил врагов,
Своим копьем сметая,
Народ окрестный пировать
Со всех речных долин,
Калить орехи, корни рвать,
Спешит на Хэллоуин.
Веселья ночь!

А у девчат любой наряд
И впору, и к лицу,
Сердца их нежностью горят
К лихому молодцу.
А на коленях у парней
Повязки ухажеров,
Сердца девчат стучат сильней:
У каждого - свой норов
В святую ночь.

Те, кто в капусте знатоки,
Кто ищет не впервые,
Закрыв глаза, рвут корешки
Большие и прямые.
Бедняга Вилл несчастлив был,
По грядкам брел незрячий,
Убогий жребий раздобыл,
Как хвостик поросячий,
Ища всю ночь.
Пряма, крива, чиста еще
Иль с грязью кочерыжка,
Под гогот валит на плечо
Поклажу коротышка.
Сладка она иль чуть горька -
Характер, по поверью,
Затем ее кладут пока
На притолоку над дверью,
Хранить всю ночь.
Прокрались девушки тайком
И колоски тянули,
Но Роб с их хитростью знаком,
Гадалок карауля.
Увлек он Нелли в уголок,
Девчонок визг раздался,
Но самый главный колосок
В амбаре потерялся,
В углу в ту ночь.
Достав орехов колдовских,
Раздали их по кругу,
Той ночью не один жених
Нашел свою подругу.
Одни безропотно горят,
Бок о бок, жаром пышут,
Другие прыгнуть норовят
Над очагом повыше,
Подальше в ночь.
Орехи Джин кладет, тая,
О том, что загадала,
- Вот это - Джок, а это - я, -
Себе она сказала.
Они нашли свою судьбу,
Взглянув в глаза открыто…
Но - пафф! Орех летит в трубу
И сердце Джин разбито
В прозренья ночь.
Бедняга Вилл орех калил
От гордой Мейли справа,
Такой сосед красотке был,
Конечно, не по нраву.
Орех у Мейли подскочил,
И прямо ей на ножку,
Но Вили шанс не упустил
Обнять ее немножко
В такую ночь.
А Нелли видела амбар,
Где с Робом ночь прошла,
Испепелил любовный жар,
Осталась лишь зола.
Сердечко Нелли неспроста
Плясало налегке,
Роб целовал ее уста
В укромном уголке
Во тьме всю ночь.
Но Мерран села у огня
С мечтой об Эндрю Белле,
Ей надоела их возня
И шутки надоели.
Она сквозь двор бредет в ночи
Туда, где мрак глубок,
Бросает в черный зев печи
Голубенький клубок,
Дрожа в ту ночь.

Пока мотала, пот прошиб,
Но устали не знала,
Нить, зацепившись за изгиб,
О, Боже! Как дрожала!
Быть может это дьявол был?
Или конец бревна?
А, может, это Эндрю Белл?
Стремглав бежит она
Прочь в эту ночь.
"Пойдем, бабуля, я прошу". -
Взывала Джени-крошка,
"Я это яблоко вкушу,
Пред зеркалом немножко".
Старуха, трубку раскурив,
Была во гневе злой,
Свой новый фартук пропалив
Горящею золой
Насквозь  в ту ночь.
"Ах ты, паршивая метла!
Помыслить не могу,
Как ты судьбу вверять могла
Нечистому врагу!
Сомнений нет, свой идеал
Увидишь ты сама,
Но многие, кто вопрошал,
Сошли тогда с ума
В такую ночь".

"Пред битвой Шерра-Мур года
Я помню, как сейчас,
Была девчонкой я тогда,
Пятнадцать лет как раз.
В тот год дожди все лето шли,
Хлеб зрел наполовину,
И урожай собрать смогли
Лишь только к Хэллоуину.

"Наш лучший жнец был Роб Мак Грин,
Он  смелым был вначале,
И от него родился сын
У Эппи в Ахмакалле.
Засеять поле коноплей
Он дерзко похвалялся,
Но много дней был сам не свой -
Так сильно испугался    
Он в эту ночь".

Поднялся спорщик Джеми Флек,
Сказав, как на духу:
"Засею конопли мешок,
Не верю в чепуху!"
Старик тогда достал мешок,
Отсыпал горсть ему,
Затем сказал: "Иди, дружок!"                           
И проводил во тьму,
Посеять в ночь.

Маршировал он сквозь стерню,
Как на смертельный бой,
И грабли, словно борону,
Тащил он за собой.
Он бормотать не устает:
"Я сею коноплю!
И пусть та девушка придет,
Которую люблю,
Скорей в ту ночь!"

Он марши бравые свистал,
Взбодриться на минутку,
Но каждый волос дыбом встал -
Так было ему жутко.
Но он услышал скрип еще,
какой-то стон и хрюк,
Он поглядел через плечо
И повалился вдруг,
Без чувств в ту ночь.

Он так орал, как будто ад
Терзал его в тот час,
Собрался тут и стар и млад,
Его послушать сказ.
Он утверждал: у шалаша
Видал горбунью с клюшкой…
Но вдруг меж ними не спеша
Просеменила хрюшка
И скрылась в ночь.

К амбару Мэг спешит скорей,
Минуя все кусты,
Ведь предстоит просеять ей
Три сита пустоты.
Орехов спелых две горсти,
Румяных яблок пару -
Ей пастушку пришлось нести
За стражу у амбара
В глухую ночь.
Она ключом открыв запор,
Ступила на порог,
И Сане прокричав на двор,
Чтоб бдительней стерег.
Взбежала крыса по стене.
Вот страх! Помилуй, бог!
Мэг по канавам, как во сне,
Пустилась со всех ног,
Молясь в ту ночь.

А Вилл отправился искать
Вторую половину.
Сумел он трижды стог обнять,
Нашел - лишь хворостину.
На старый дуб наткнулся Вилл,
Что был черней карги,
И, разозлившись, он разбил
До крови кулаки
В лихую ночь.
А с Лизи, шустрою вдовой,
Игривой, как котенок,
В ту ночку случай был такой
Средь зарослей сплетенных.
Где меж кустов и диких трав
Она брела сквозь хмель,
Чтоб левый омочить рукав
В ручье у трех земель,
Склонившись в ночь.
То по оврагу мчал ручей,
То вился по долине,
То огибал вокруг камней,
А то рябил в пучине,
То серебрился под луной,
Журча в кустах прибрежных,
То вдруг, объятый тишиной,
Скрывался он в орешник,
Тайком в ту ночь.

Среди густого орляка
Меж нею и луной,
Быть может черта иль телка
Раздался жуткий вой.
Сердечко Лизи высоко
От страха подскочило,
Она вдруг в омут глубоко,
Споткнувшись, угодила
В шальную ночь.

Стоят рядком у очага
Три плошки деревянных,
Их каждый раз судьбы рука
Перемещает рьяно.
Лелеял старый Джон мечту
О браке с давних пор,
Но трижды выбрал пустоту:
Все три - летят в костер
С проклятьем в ночь.
Веселый гомон, шум и смех,
И шуткам нет предела,
И песня, общая для всех,
Над сборищем летела.
Душистый пудинга горшок
Встречали с вдохновеньем,
Затем, махнув на посошок,
Расстались с сожаленьем,
Галдя всю ночь.
The first reference to a so-called Jack-o-lantern was found in a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne "Feathertop" in 1852.
Halloween theme was also mentioned in Shakespeare's Song of the witches from "Macbeth")

 Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 
Fillet of a fenny snake, 
In the caldron boil and bake; 
Eye of newt and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat and tongue of dog, 
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, 
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, 
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble. 

Double, double toil and trouble; 
Fire burn and caldron bubble. 
Cool it with a baboon's blood, 
Then the charm is firm and good.

Взвейся ввысь, язык огня! 
Закипай, варись, стряпня! 
А потом – спина змеи
Без хвоста и чешуи,
Песья мокрая ноздря
С мордою нетопыря,
Лягушиное бедро,
И совиное перо,
Ящериц помет и слизь
В колдовской котел вались! 
Взвейся ввысь, язык огня! 
Закипай, варись, стряпня! (Translated by Boris Pasternak)
But the real symbol of Halloween in literature is a creepy story  like these classical Halloween books:
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Halloween tree by Ray Bradbury
Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy by Matthew Gaskill
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
All Hallows’ Eve: 13 Stories by Vivian Vande Velde
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
The Witches of Eastwick, John Updike
Of course, this list can be much longer, because I'm pretty sure that you know an interesting Halloween book that is not mentioned here. So add your favourite Halloween books in your comments below and                                                                                                                    Happy Halloween, dear friends! 
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The Greatest British Author - Joanne Rowling

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”

  In June 2006 the British public named Rowling "the greatest living British author." And she really is.
Joanne Rowling is the author of the series of novels about Harry Potter. Her books were translated into more than 60 languages.
 Rowling said that she wrote the Harry Potter when she had problems in her life, and she tried to achieve something.
"Unless this challenge, I would have gone mad.", Mrs. Rowling said.
And now the story of Harry Potter and his fight against the Dark Lord is one of the most popular children's books and has already got the proud title of "Children's Book of the Millennium", although it's difficult to consider this book  only children's one.
We all can find words of wisdom on the pages of this popular tale:

* Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.
         Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
         - Quote by Albus Dumbledore
 * If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his       equals.
         Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
         - Quote by Sirius Black

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike …
       Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
      - Quote from Dumbledore to Harry, talking about Sirius’s treatment of Kreacher 
You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.
       Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
       - Quote by Ginny Weasley

*  It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
       Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
       - Quote by Albus Dumbledore

Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.
        Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
        - Quote by Albus Dumbledore

And Mrs. Rowling continues to create special presents for all of her fans. On July 31, the author's birthday, the world saw a new story about Harry Potter. "Harry Potter and the cursed child" - this is the first theatrical production of the Harry Potter books. The story is finally complete.
Happy birthday, dear Mrs. Rowling! And many thanks for the fairy-tale that you have presented to the whole world! And thank you that even in our modern society our children are still pleading to be taken to bookshops.
P.S. And don't forget to watch a new film in November. The world of fantastic beasts is waiting for us;)

Great English Bard William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford -upon- Avon. This great poet, playwright and actor presented the world with a lot of amazing works which are still read, reread and cited.
There are so many Shakespeare's quotes which are actual in any time. My favourite one is "Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all" (Henry VI).  
Shakespeare's biography is very mysterious and full of unknown facts.
Let's learn more about William Shakespeare's life with the help of an amazing video made by a creative person Fiveminded 

 But the main fact which doesn't need to be proved is that William Shakespeare is a genius.  
Find more interesting facts on these sites: 
There are a lot of various translated versions of Shakespeare in Ukrainian and Russian. Some of them are very close to the original and some of them are very creative and it's hard to say which of all of them is the best. But all these works are without any doubt the ways to pass the great bard's word through ages and any borders.
Here are some translated Shakespeare's versions by Dmytro Pavlychko

Sonnet 1
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak'st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.

Ми прагнем, щоб краса потомство мала,
Щоб цвіт її ніколи не зачах,
Щоб квітнула троянда нетривала,
Все наново постаючи в бруньках.
А ти, закоханий у власну вроду,
Її годуєш полум'ям своїм,
Розвалюєш - скажи, кому на шкоду? -
Душі своєї багатющий дім.
Ти, хто весні сьогодні пишна пара,
Пригноблюєш весняне почуття,
Як той багатий, та нещасний скнара,
Змарновуєш на вбогості життя.
Світ пожалій, не зводь красу до гробу,
Віддай природі борг - свою подобу!
Sonnet 8
Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy:
Why lov'st thou that which thou receiv'st not gladly,
Or else receiv'st with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear;
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering;
Resembling sire, and child, and happy mother,
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing;
Whose speechless song being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee, 'Thou single wilt prove none.'

Твій голос - музика, чому ж тобі
Несуть печаль ясні музичні звуки?
Чом любиш те, що зроджене в журбі,
Чому жадаєш ти нудьги й розпуки?ї
Чи гармонійна злагода звучань,
Для іншого весела та бадьора,
Тебе спечалює, мов смутку хлань,
Бо ж то твоїй самотності докора?
Прислухайсь, як мелодію свою
Перекидають одна одній струни,
Що схожі на розспівану сім'ю,-
Батьки щасливі та потомство юне.
Та пісня каже: згинь же, самото,
Якщо ти завжди сам, ти є ніхто!
More Ukrainian versions are here
Read Russian versions on this site: http://shakespeare.ouc.ru/sonnet-1-ru.html
Taras Shevchenko's words in English-speaking literature

Then, in the mighty family
Of all men that are free,
May be sometimes, very softly
You will speak of me?
"The Testament" 

Taras Shevchenko
Translated by E. L. Voynich
London, 1911

I continue talking about great poets and writers and their place in English-speaking literature, and today I want to share with you the information of Ukrainian genius Taras Shevchenko and his poems from the well-known collection "Kobzar". 
Taras Shevchenko always seemed to me more than just a poet whose poems we had to learn by heart at school. I always liked that portrait on which this wise man was depicted with great honour. This picture was painted by Ivan Kramskoi upon Shevchenko's return from exile, 1871.
 On March, 9 Taras Shevchenko was born in the village of Moryntsi (now village of Shevchenkove), Zvenigorodsky county (now in ZvenigorodskdistrictCherkasy region, Ukraine)
  Detailed information about Shevchenko was found in the works of William Richard Morfil. He was a famous English Slavic professor at Oxford University. The first translated versions of the poet's works he presented in 1876.
  In the early 20th century  Ethel Lilian Voynich (the English writer and composer, author of the famous novel "The Gadfly" tried  to convey the Shevchenko's spirit . Only after 20 years of hard work she published in her own translation  Shevchenko's 156 lines.  The best versions were "The Testament, "My evening star" "I care no longer...". The boundless sincerity breaks through translation.
  In England, a famous poet Vira Rich  published 51 translations of Shevchenko, among them - 9 poems in 1960-1969. Her translations are the most poetic and close in spirit and understanding of original poet's works. Vira Rich introduced many  Shevchenko's works to English readers.
 Ukrainian emigration made Shevchenko's name popular in the English-speaking world, too.
In 1933  the Canadian Ukrainian poet Onufry Ivakhiv published his English variants of Taras Shevchenko's poems.
Among Shevchenko's translated works a visible position is represented by Ukrainian emigrant Ivan Vyv'yurskyy, known under the name John Weir.
The Mighty Dnieper
The mighty Dnieper roars and bellows,
The wind in anger howls and raves,
Down to the ground it bends the willows,
And mountain-high lifts up the waves.
The pale-faced moon picked out this moment
To peek out from behind a cloud,
Like a canoe upon the ocean
It first tips up, and then dips down.
The cocks don't crow to wake the morning,
There's not as yet a sound of man,
The owls in glades call out their warnings,
And ash trees creak and creak again.
Taras Shevchenko
Translated by John Weir
The works of  great poet were published not only individually, but also in the collections with  the publishers's comments.
I remember that it was easy to learn Shevchenko's poems by heart because they were very melodic. I imagined a Ukrainian village in cherry blossom when I was reading "Beside the hut the cherries are in bloom"
Beside the hut the cherries are in bloom,

And May bugs o'er them dance...The peasants from

The fields return with weary seep...'Tis late...

The young maids as they go sing songs...At home

The tables have been laid, and supper waits.

A family at table sit without...

Dusk slowly comes, the evening stars are out.

The daughter serves, but seems to take too long;

The mother is impatient and about

To scold, when lo! - a bird bursts into song.

The darkness cloaks the heavens overhead...

Beside the hut her little ones to bed

The mother puts, and then, afraid that they'll

Not sleep, lies down nearby...

The world seems dead;

All's still save for the maids and nightingale.

(Translated by Irina Zheleznova)

Taras Shevchenko was a great poet who told us "Teach, read and learn from others, but do not forget that which is your own"His  wise words teach us to learn others' cultures and to keep our own one, too. It must be a rule for every person in the world. 
And I'd like to finish my post with the legendary Shevchenko's "The Testament"
The Testament
Dig my grave and raise my barrow
By the Dnieper-side
In Ukraina, my own land,
A fair land and wide.
I will lie and watch the cornfields,
Listen through the years
To the river voices roaring,
Roaring in my ears.
When I hear the call
Of the racing flood,
Loud with hated blood,
I will leave them all,
Fields and hills; and force my way
Right up to the Throne
Where God sits alone;
Clasp His feet and pray...
But till that day
What is God to me?
Bury me, be done with me,
Rise and break your chain,
Water your new liberty
With blood for rain.
Then, in the mighty family
Of all men that are free,
May be sometimes, very softly
You will speak of me?
Taras Shevchenko
Translated by E. L. Voynich
London, 1911
We will speak of you, be sure, the great Kobzar!
More information about Taras Shevchenko you'll find on  Taras Shevchenko Museum (great thanks to creators of the site for the interesting information).

Lesya Ukrainka, a Ukrainian nymph.

Today is the great Ukrainian poet's birthday, my dear friends, and I want to share with you some information about Lesya Ukrainka. She was born on February 25 in 1871 in the town of Novohrad - Volynsky of Ukraine. "Lesya Ukrainka" was her  pseudonym, her real name was Larisa Kosach-Kvitka ( poet's biography read here). But I'm not going to write about her life (you can easily find this information on Wikipedia), I want to focus on  Lesya's works which are well-known to the whole world due to translated versions.
The first English translation of Lesya Ukrainka's works appeared dating  from  1916, while the book "Five Russian plays with one from Ukraine" was published in London and New York. This Ukrainian play was a dramatic poem  "Babylonian  captivity" by Lesya Ukrainka . It was translated by Carl Eric Bechhofer Roberts, the English writer and professional translator.
In 1968 in Toronto selected works by  Lesya Ukrainka were published in translation of Vira Rich.
In 1975 Kyiv publishing house "The Dnipro" published a collection of poems by Lesya Ukrainka in original and English translation under the title " Hope."Translation was made by Gladys Evans.It was she who managed to transfer the author's style exactly.
The latest collection of so called  English "Lesiyana" represented by  the dramatic poem "A Noble  Woman", "Babylonian captivity"and drama - extravaganza "The Forest Song" translated  by Vira  Rich.
All the three translated works were  published in the journal "The Ukrainian Review "in 1992-1994. They are very interesting, with the interpreter's creativity.
"The Forest Song"

And here are three Lesya Ukrainka's poems translated into English:

 Contra spem spero                      
Thoughts away, you heavy clouds of autumn!
For now springtime comes, agleam with gold!
Shall thus in grief and wailing for ill-fortune
All the tale of my young years be told?

No, I want to smile through tears and weeping.,
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I want to live! You thoughts of grief, away!

On poor sad fallow land unused to tilling
I'll sow blossoms, brilliant in hue,
I'll sow blossoms where the frost lies, chilling,
I'll pour bitter tears on them as due.

And those burning tears shall melt, dissolving
All that mighty crust of ice away.
Maybe blossoms will come up, unfolding
Singing springtime too for me, some day.

Up the flinty steep and craggy mountain
A weighty ponderous boulder I shall raise,
And bearing this dread burden, a resounding
Song I'll sing, a song of joyous praise.

In the long dark ever-viewless night-time
Not one instant shall I close my eyes,
I'll seek ever for the star to guide me,
She that reigns bright mistress of dark skies.

Yes, I'll smile, indeed, through tears and weeping
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I shall live! You thoughts of grief, away!
             Translated by Vira Rich

Why are my words not like steel brightly flashing
Out in the field where two armies are clashing ?
Why not a sabre whose pitiless blows
Cut off the heads of our bitterest foes ?
You dagger-words, that I tempered and tested,
Gladly I'll draw from my breast where you rested,
But it is my heart to the purpose applying,
I'll shape a weapon with sparks from it flying,
Then I shall hang it up high on the wall
Others to gratify, me to appall.

My only weapon, dear words that I cherish,
We must ensure that not both of us perish !
Wielded by brothers we do not yet know
You may do better in routing the foe.

My blade shall sever the fetters of iron,
Echo aloud in the forts of all tyrants.
Other blades also shall join it to bring 
New days when speeches of free men will ring.
Mighty avengers my sword shall inherit,
With it they'll race to do battle with merit...
Sword, better service go render the brave
Than to my feeble hands you ever gave !
                             Translated by Peter Tempest

The Guelder-Rose
The Cossack is dying, the maiden crying :"
Let me stay beside you, deep in earth I would be lying ! ""
 Oh, if you are truly such a faithful maiden,
Then become a guelder-rose with snowy blossom laden.
Dew that in the morning on the mowing settles
Shall not weigh upon my grave but on your flowing tresses.
When the hot sun scorches and the blossom blanches
Heat shall not dry up my bones but shrivel your green branches. "
" Oh, my sweet, how can it give you any pleasure
That I glow so red when I feel sorrow beyond measure ?
Oh, my sweet, how can it be a cause for gladness
That I blossom when my heart is full of gall and sadness ?
Will the grave be dearer to you, my beloved,
If I am a green tree rising silently above it ? "
" Even my own mother could not grieve so deeply
As you grieve for me, my guelder-rose tree was already growing.
People with small children came and stood there gazing, 
Never had they seen before a wonder so amazing :
 Who is it lies buried here beside the highway
Where a guelder-rose is blossoming in frost so spryly ?
See its green and slender leaves there twisting, curling,
And the blood-red berries in its snowy blossom stirring ! "
In reply the guelder-rose its leaves uncovered :
" Why must I be silent at the side of my beloved ?
Oh, the tree is silent while the axe is swinging,
When the man cuts deeply, then the tree is singing.
First a branch he severs, then a pipe he's playing,
With an arrow from the guelder-rose his heart assailing. "

                                           Translated by Peter Tempest

" No, I’m alive! I’ll live eternally!
I have that in my heart which cannot die!" , says the forest nymph the main character  from "The Forest Song". And to my mind these are the words of Lesya Ukrainka herself. She is alive for all of us in her eternal beautiful poems.

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