Volume 61 (2021)

A. Tkachenko
Dr Hab., Prof


The researches of Ukrainian vers libre mostly associate its origination with Lesya Ukrainka’s poetical heritage. Not denying the statement about the poetess’s attempts to move away from the rigid rhythmic-metric canons of classical syllabic tonic and explore new ways of modern versification, the author of the article, however, proceeds from the conviction of this artistic speech type’s deep rootedness in rhythmic folk genres (magical formulas, wishes, lamentations, curses, benevolence), as well as in a variety of ritual pre-Christian, double faith and Christian prayer-centric texts (prayers, confessions, supplications, orders etc.). Lesya Ukrainka at the end of the XIX century brought back these old traditions into written secular literature, but her unrhymed poems were still largely inspired by ancient metrics imitation, and remained captive to syllabic-tonic and partly tonic rhythms, varying due to diverse anacrusis, multi-metric verses and slight pausing. Based on the principles of metric plurivalence (I. Kachurovsky’s term), i.e. the ability to measure the same text with different meters (measures). So, the poetess’s rhythmic constructions can be qualified as unrhymed unregulated multi-metric threesyllables with sporadic caesura, complete and truncated pre-caesary and clause feet; as metrically modelled on ancient hexameter imitation, where long metric lines are “cut” by a caesura and arranged in pairs of text lines (“ladder-like”); as poems of the tonic versification system. Both caesura and leimic verse, as well as the standard feet number (in the lines) increase or decrease, have in ancient poetry the certain generalized names of lipometry and hypermetry. Thus, moving away from classical syllabic tonic requirements and using the example of ancient metrics imitation, diversifying it with the casual unregulated combination of multi-metrical three-syllable verses, Lesya Ukrainka brought the modernization of Ukrainian literary poetry closer not only to European and world vers libre creation sources, but also to its origin. Apparently, this was facilitated by her folkloristic activities, which did not allow to forget the “old”, revived in the “new”. Key words: vers libre, inconsistent (casual) syllabic tonic, metric plurivalence, variable anacrusis, lipometry, hypermetry, ancient metrics imitation.

Files to Download


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/2520-6346.2(61).184-203


1. Bunchuk B. Pochatky ukrayinsʹkoho verlibru // Radyansʹke literaturoznavstvo. – 1980. – №12. – S. 58–67. 2. Burhardt O. Lesya Ukrayinka i Hayne // Ukrayinka L. Tvory : [V 12 t.]. – K.: Knyhospilka, 1927−1930. – T. 4. – S. VX–XXIV. 3. Kachurovsʹkyy I. Narys komparatyvnoyi metryky. – Myunkhen, Ukrayinsʹkyy Vilʹnyy Universytet, 1985. – 119 s. 4. Kovaliv Yu. 1) Verlibr; 2) Vilʹnyy virsh // Literaturoznavcha entsyklopediya : U 2 t. [avt.-uklad. Yu. Kovaliv]. – K. : VTS "Akademiya", 2007. – T. 1. – C. 165– 167; 186. 5. Kormilov S. Vilʹnyy virsh u Lesi Ukrayinky // Radyansʹke literaturoznavstvo. – 1979. – № 9. – S. 29–40. 6. Kostenko N. 1) Vilʹnyy virsh, verlibr; 2) Volʹnyy virsh // Ukrayinsʹka literaturna entsyklopediya : V 5 t. – T. 1. – K.: Holov. red. URE im. M. P. Bazhana, 1988. – S. 323; 352. 7. Sydorenko H. Vid klasychnykh normatyviv do verlibru. – K.: Vyshcha shkola, 1980. – 184 s. 8. Tkachenko A. Mystetstvo slova : (Vstup do literaturoznavstva) : Pidruchnyk dlya humanitariyiv). – K.: VPTS "Kyyivsʹkyy universytet", 2003. – 448 s. 9. Tkachenko A. Ukrayinsʹka virshoznavcha terminosystema: dyskusiyni aspekty // Ukrayinsʹka versyfikatsiya: pytannya istoriyi ta teoriyi. – Chernivtsi : Cherniv. nats. un-t, 2017. – S. 33–46. 10. Ukrayinka L. Povne akad. zibr. tv.: U 14 t. – Lutsʹk : Volyn. nats. un-t im. Lesi Ukrayinky, 2021. 11. Yakubsʹkyy B. Nauka virshuvannya. – K.: Slovo, [1922]. – 122 s. 12. Yakubsʹkyy B. [Peredmova] // Ukrayinka L. Tvory : [V 12 t.]. – K.: Knyhospilka, 1927−1930. – T. 2. – S. VX–XXIV