Volume 61-2 (2021)

N. V. Naumenko
Dr Hab., Prof., National University of Food Technologies, Kyiv


The article shows the possible ways to interpret Lesya Ukrayinka’s vers libre
“Fragments of a Letter,” regarding the relevance of free forms in contemporary
poetry. There was shown that, having worked over the translations of ancient
Egyptian poems and Vedic hymns, Lesya Ukrayinka definitely elaborated her own
style of free versification identified by the following features: using the various threesyllable feet, first of all dactyl and anapest, artistic synthesis and intertextuality.
Lesya’s free verse works – either with the certain genre markers, like “Uryvky z lysta”
(Fragments of a Letter), “Melodiyi, č. 12” (Melodies, Part 12), “Zorya poeziyi:
Improvizaciya” (The Star of the Poetry: Improvisation), or without them, like “Vesna
zymova” (Spring in Winter), “Ave Regina!”, “Zavždy ternovyj vinec’…” (The Crown
of Thorns Will Always Be…) – are characterized by the interactions of lyric, epic, and
dramatic initials on the ground of philosophical outlook, mostly the binary opposition
‘freedom / slavery’.
Upon observing Lesya Ukrayinka’s mature lyrics, it can be evident that all
aforementioned elements are present in probably the most famous of her free verses,
“Uryvky z lysta” (Fragments of a Letter, 1897), included into the cycle “Kryms’ki
vidhuky” (Crimean Echoes). As the textologists evidenced, this poem had got its title
because of the significant eliminations from the initial text. On the other hand, this
means should be classified as ‘non-finito’ figure, which would furthermore permit us
to claim the genre of a fragment as a typical form of contemporary free verse.
Consequently, the image of a speaker in “Fragments…” appears to be not only the
author’s alter ego, but also an expresser of an idea of liberated creation. That is why
“Fragments…” should be translated, considering the means of both Ukrainian and
English poetic speech together with the specifications of Lesya’s free-verse style.
Keywords: poetry of Lesya Ukrainka, verlibr, translation, phonics, meter,
image, language.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/2520-6346.2(61).90-100


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