Monday, April 21, 2014




Reading Nikola Vaptsarov “ once again. Nikola Vaptsarov (1909-1942 ) was an Incredible National Poet of Bulgaria. Bulgarians love and adore him. I am Informed by a friend that many streets, Roads and Buildings in Bulgaria are named after him. He was a frontline leader in the communist Movement of Bulgaria apart from being a gifted revolutionary poet . Vaptsarov earned his living by working as a machine Engineer on a naval Ship and also as a Mechanic in a factory . He never published his poetry during his lifetime . It was all published after his Death.
During the second world ( 1939-1945 ) war especially after the entry of German forces into Bulgaria , he was caught , tried summarily and executed by the Nazi forces for his beliefs .

He wrote poetry after his factory hours .His poem HISTORY is my all time favourite . In this poem, the Poet seeks no rewards for poor factory workers or labourers. He is deeply touched by their struggle and hard life . He puts a simple question ; Shall they figure anywhere in the
History Books ? And then he wants that posterity should know at least that these Hapless and poor people also fought against the cruelty of the existence . I quote the specific lines ..

‘History, will you mention us
In your faded scroll?’
‘We fattened you with news,
And slaked your thirst so richly,
With the blood of slaughtered crowds?’
‘Was it a life worth noting,
A life worth digging up?
Unearthed, it reeks of poison,
Tastes bitter in the cup.’
For the hardship and affliction
We do not seek rewards,
Nor do we wan ^t our pictures
In the calendar of years.
Just tell our story simply
To those we shall not see,
Tell those who will replace us –
We fought courageously.

His Poem ‘ FACTORY ’ also concludes with a powerful message
You, factory,
Still seek to blind us
With smoke and soot,
Layer on layer.
In vain! For you teach us to struggle.
We’ll bring
The sun
Down to us here.So many
toil-blackened faces
Under your tyranny smart.
But one heart within you tirelessly
Beats with a thousand hearts.
Nikola Vaptsarov was an optimist and had an everlasting faith in life . His belief is substantiated by his poem FAITH . I quote …
(Faith )
Here am I-breathing, Working,
Living And Writing my poetry
(My best to it giving). Life and I glower
Across at each other, and with it I struggle
with all my power Life and I quarell,
But don't draw the moral That I despise it.
No, just the opposite! Though I should perish,
Life with its brutal Claws of steel
Still I would cherish, Still I would cherish!
Suppose round my neck they tie fast
The rope And they ask:
'Would you like one more hour to live?'
I would instantly cry:
Come, quickly untie
The rope, you devils!'

Vaptsarov was arrested tried summarily for his beliefs and then executed by the Nazi firing squad on 23rd July, 1942. I add lines from his last poem “On Parting ” written just before his execution. He has addressed the poem to his wife in quite a moving tone .
Sometimes I’ll come when you’re asleep,
An unexpected visitor.
Don’t leave me outside in the street,
Don’t bar the door!
I’ll enter quietly, softly sit
And gaze upon you in the dark.
Then, when my eyes have gazed their fill,
I’ll kiss you and depart.
The fight is hard and pitiless
The fight is epic, as they say.
I fell. Another takes my place –
Why single out a name?
After the firing squad – the worms.
Thus does the simple logic go.
But in the storm we’ll be with you,
My people, for we loved you so.
2 p.m. – 23.07.1942

( Autar Mota 21.04.2014 )
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