Mikola Bazhan

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Bazhan, Mikola

 

(also Nikolai Platonovich Bazhan). Born Sept. 26 (Oct. 9), 1904, in Kamenets-Podolskii. Soviet Ukrainian poet and public figure. Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (1951). Member of the CPSU since 1940. Born into the family of a soldier. First published in 1923.

In his book of poems The Seventeenth Patrol (1926) Bazhan celebrated the heroic spirit of the Civil War. In the collection Carved Shadow (1927) he recreated the past of the Ukraine in romantic tones. In the collection Construction (1929) the theme of socialist construction began to resound. The spiritual split in the modern bourgeois intellectual is condemned in the narrative poem Conversation of Hearts. His early works show the influence of futurism, and later, expressionism (the narrative poems The Night of Hoffman, 1929, and The Ghetto in Uman, 1930). From the early 1930’s, Bazhan affirmed socialist humanism, devotion to ideals, and party passion in art (the narrative poems The Death of Hamlet, 1932, and Trilogy of Passions, 1933). By liberating himself from the complexity of poetic images in his verses and narrative poems, Bazhan attained profundity of thought in combination with simplicity and clarity of poetic form. This was especially evident in the three-part poem Immortality (1937), in which he created an image of S. M. Kirov, and his narrative poem Fathers and Sons (1938) about the struggle of the Donets workers during the Civil War. The cycles Georgian Verses, Uzbekistan Verses, and Borislav Tales, which were included in the book lamby (1940), were devoted to the friendship of peoples. During the Great Patriotic War, he edited the newspaper Za Radians’ku Ukrainu for the population of the occupied Ukraine. His works of the war years were the poem Oath (1941), the narrative poem Daniil Galitskii (1942), and the book Stalingrad Notebook (1943). They received the State Prize of the USSR in 1946.

His postwar book of poems English Impressions (1949, State Prize of the USSR 1949) was permeated by ideas of the struggle for peace. The poet compares the present and past of the Ukraine in the collection At the Spasskii Tower (1952). The narrative poem Flight Through the Storm (1964) was awarded the Shevchenko Prize in 1965. The books of poems Mitskevich in Odessa (1957), Italian Impressions (1961), and Four Tales of Hope (1967) testify to the breadth of Bazhan’s creative interests and his many-sided illumination of the idea of internationalism. His poetry is characterized by philosophical generalization, political acuity, and unceasing quest in the area of artistic form.

Bazhan translated into Ukrainian Champions in Tiger Skins by Sh. Rustaveli (1937, Rustaveli Prize), Davitiani by D. Guramishvili (1950), the works of A. Navoi, A. S. Pushkin, V. V. Mayakovsky, and A. Mickiewicz, and works by contemporary Russian, Georgian, and Polish poets. He is the editor-in-chief of the Soviet Ukrainian Encyclopedia. He was a deputy to the second through fifth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He has been awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and medals. Since 1967 he has been secretary of the Union of Writers of the USSR.

WORKS

Vybrani poezii. Kiev, 1940.
Tvory, vols. 1–2. Kiev, 1946–1947.
Tvory, vols. 1–2. Kiev, 1954.
Roky. Kiev, 1957.
Liudi, knyhy, daty. Kiev, 1962.
Tvory, vols. 1–2. Kiev, 1965.
Bahrets’. Kiev, 1966.
Chotyry opovidannia pro nadiiu. Kiev, 1967.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1945.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1948.
Stikhi i poemy. Moscow, 1949.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1954.
Stikhi i poemy. Moscow, 1957.
Ital’ianskie vstrechi. Moscow, 1963.
Polet skvoz’ buriu. Moscow, 1967.

REFERENCES

Tarasenkov, A. Mikola Bazhan. Moscow, 1950.
Kryzhanivs’kyi, S. Mikola Bazhan. Kiev, 1954.
Nisons’kyi, P. Mikola Bazhan. Kiev, 1959.
Adel’geim, E. Mikola Bazhan. Kiev, 1965.

S. A. KRYZHANOVSKII