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Vladimir Kirda Bolhorves / Âëàäèìèð Êèðäà Áîëõîðâåñ: Recipient of the Dukhnovych Prize for 2013

Vladimir Kirda Bolhorves (b. 1942) was born in Ruski Krstur (Rusyn: Ruski Kerestur), Serbia. In Novi Sad, Serbia, where he presently resides, he completed a technical education in auto engineering and worked in this field for some years. In 1994 he acquired a Master’s Degree in Belgrade in the university’s Department of Sociological and Political Culture, specializing in the Sociology of Literature, and defended his thesis, entitled “Cultural-Sociological Aspects of the Dogmatism Critique in the Yugoslav Novel 1985-1988.” He worked as a journalist and editor in the Rusyn editorial office of Novi Sad Television from 1976-2003. This was his main career. But his passion has been creative writing, prose and largely poetry, and he has published both genres abundantly. The specific work for which he received the Dukhnovych Prize for Rusyn Literature is entitled Opivanie z vitrom i z ohn'om (Getting Drunk With Wind and Fire, 2009).

This substantial volume consists of seven poetic cycles, each one beginning with a short prose text and conveying themes which reflect the beginning of the Yugo-Balkan War in 1991. Woven through this major theme are motifs of longing for his native village, for friends and a rustic life, and his identification as a Rusyn. Bolhorves’s poetry is complex, enriched by his use of a host of literary devices, such as alliteration, parallelisms, interesting sounds and forms. He takes the calling of a poet seriously and addresses this subject in a number of his poems. The poet, he says in his winning volume, is not a “satisfied man,” for a “satisfied man does not have a need or motivation to write poems.” A serious poet is one who is “mining the heavens” for meaning and, thus, must be a very hard worker.

An example of Kirda Bolhorves’s poetry from Getting Drunk With Wind and Fire is taken from an English translation by Mihaela Jorga Lazovic.

“Bus, Rushing Down the Plain”

Comfortably leaned back
  in the seat by the window, you squint
   in the abundance of light.
  On the vast, spring screen,
under the milky-blue sky,
  green carpets, needles and threads of power lines,
   locust trees around the ramshackle farms, pass by.

In the distance, behind landscapes covered in wheat,
  bordered by mustard plants and field poppy,
   the whole family stepped into the young corn
    up to their knees.
   Oh, I could use a shower of healthy sweat
  instead of a tie,
The freshness of scented wind instead of a briefcase,
  and, at least for two or three days,
   a hoe full of ticks instead of
    miserable, daily worries of a clerk.

The bus is rushing, milky-blue sky
  is sunbathing in the rays which will
   fertilize the generous Pannonian plain.
  Blaze of wishes and shadow of torrent joy-sorrow-sadness stirred up inside you.
  On the horizon, yet another farm appears
   --unfathomable like a Secret.

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