A spark of fire (4)


Ivan Shishkin

Artist: Ivan Shishkin

25Friendship Bench


Original poem in Ukrainian. Translation: InterestEng. staff

A mighty eagle on a snowy rise,
Sat gazing all around with keen quick eyes,
And then on strong pinions, began to rise— 
Lept upwards he, with strength in azure sky.

His sweeping wing brushed a clod of snow;
It fell and started other clods below;
They gathered force, a strength that none could know, 
Until an avalanche arose that none could slow.

So Kotlyorevsky once, in happier times,
Began to sing in his beloved language, rhythms—
But what he sang not once was mocked, maligned.

Yet in the songs lay something rich and great,
A spark of fire that none could, or would abate,
But blazed and warmed us through our lonely fate.

— Ivan Franko, 1873  [Original poem called “Kotlyorevsky”.]

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