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Tinker

Belarus: Romantic Stanza

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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Slavic Verse

Belarus is a a land locked country in eastern Europe, bordered by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine. The name means White Russian, a term used to designate a land not occupied by Genghis Khan. Apparently it was the rare exception to the hord's conquests. More recently however, it has been occupied by both Nazi Germany and Russia which have had an influence on the literature of the land. The earliest Belarus recorded writing is religious verse from the 11th-12th centuries. I could find little more until the 19th century and even then I can only find some names of poets but nothing about the poetry itself except one stanzaic form, The Romantic Stanza.

The Romantic Stanza is named for the poem Venus the Star by Maksim Bahdanovic, Belarus 1891-1917. The poem was originally titled "Romance" 1912 until it was published as lyrics to a song in 1930. It is distinguished by the use of a rentrament, the first phrase of L1 repeated as a refrain in L4 similar to the French Rondeau. The difference is that each quatrain has its own rentrament.

The elements of the Romantic Stanza are:

  1. written in any number of quatrains.
  2. accentual syllabic, dactylic with L1, L2, and L3 either tetrameter and L4 is dimeter or trimeter.
  3. rhymed, rhyme abab cdcd etc.
  4. written with each quatrain employing the first phrase of L1 as a rentrament, repeated as L4.

    Introduction by Judi Van Gorder

    Goodbye to Father Winter, the ice and snow subside.
    First on the scene, the demure daffodil, presenter,
    hails the season of renewal, welcomes the fertile bride.
    Goodbye to Father Winter.

    Daffodils smile upon Spring's introduction to the year
    while tiny sprouts burst through the earth to fling
    forth new life and blossoms sing sweet arias, clear.
    Daffodils smile upon Spring.

    Зорка Венера ўзышла by Maksim Bahdanovic                       

    Зорка Венера ўзышла над зямлёю,
    Светлыя згадкі з сабой прынясла.
    Помніш, калі я сnаткаўся з табою,
    Зорка Венера ўзышла.

    3 гэтай nары я пачаў углядацца
    ў неба начное і зорку шукаў,
    Ціхім каханнем k табе разгарацца
    3 гэтай пары я пачаў.

    Але расстацца нам час наступае;
    Пэўна, ўжо доля такая у нас...
    Моцна кахаў я цябе, дарагая,
    Але расстацца нам час.

    Буду ў далёкім краю я нудзіцца,
    ў сэрцы любоў затаіўшы сваю;
    Кожную ночку на зорку дзівіцца
    Буду ў далёкім краю.

    Глянь іншы раз па яе, у расстанні
    3 ёю зліём мы пагляды свае...
    Каб хюць на міг уваскрэсла каханне,
    Глянь іншы раз на яе...

    Venus the Star translated by Vera Rich

    Venus, new-risen above the broad skyline,
    Brings with her bright-shining memories of love.
    Do you recall, when we met for the first time
    Venus new-risen above?

    From that time forth, evermore skyward gazing,
    Seeking that planet, I'd scan heaven o'er,
    Within me, a deep silent love for you blazing,
    From that time forth, evermore.

    But the time of our parting draws near, ever nearer,
    Thus does our fate, does our fortune appear;
    Deeply, profoundly, I love you, my dear one,
    But the time of our parting draws near.

    In that far country, my love buried deeply,
    I shall live drearily, yet high above
    I shall gaze on that planet each night, vigil keeping,
    In that far country, my love.

    Gaze upon Venus once more, though far distant
    One from another, there mingled we'll pour|
    Our glance, let love flower if but for an instant...
    Gaze upon Venus once more!

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