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Segedi-Falts, Liubka

Segedi-Falts, Liubka was born in Petrovtsi, located in present-day Croatia, in 1932. For thirty-seven years she worked as a village school teacher. Currently she is head of the organization of Rusyns of Croatia, "Rusnak," based in Petrovtsi.

The poet published her first book of verse in 1975. A second book, Dumki, appeared in 1999, and her work has been included in numerous journals and anthologies. She has also written literary history and criticism; her book Poeziia i proza Rusinokh i Ukraintsokh v republitsi Khorvatskoi (Poetry and Prose of the Rusyns and Ukrainians in the Croatian Republic) appeared in 1998. Her most recent book, Klaski (Ears of Grain), was published in Zagreb in 1999.

Segedi-Falts finds much of her inspiration in nature, as indicated by the titles of many of her poems: "Wind," "Summer," "The Scent of Hemp," "Snow," "Late Autumn in the Forest," "Winter," "Summer Morning," "The Arrival of Spring," "I Dislike Autumn." Nature is alive for the poet, expressing human feelings and reflecting the poet's moods. The unity of man and nature permeates every line of her poetry, creating an original vision, which is expressed through poetic images that enchant and surprise the reader.

Poem titles also indicate another aspect of the poet's originality - her feminine poetic vision: "Wait for Me," "Is it You," "Leave me," "I Love You," "The Beauty of Love," "Come," "The Pain of Desire." She sings of the sorrows and joy of love, of her memories and her hopes. Professor Vasyl' Khoma has called Falts's love poems "pearls of Rusyn lyrical poetry."

Finally, Ljubka Segedi-Falts expresses her ethnic belonging in her poetry. Her lyrical persona is a product of the historical circumstances that led the Rusyns to the Vojvodina and Srem, and she claims the plains and valleys as her own. In her poem "My Petrovtsi," she writes:

For days I prepared myself
to go to the country from which
my grandfather brought me here
and this thought is always on my mind.
If only I will have someone
there to complain to
about how heavy, how heavy
is the burden I carry.

Єшень умера

Умера нєшка розкошна єшень
мертва и писня цверчка у трави
лєм ше у здогадованю моiм
нєбо и мирне морйо белави.

Знємири ше цихоцс у мнє
кєд шущи лiсце жовте и боль болi
кєд витор ше нємирни бави
з голим конарком у тополi.

Остатнi лiсток витор ноши
сциха го кладзе на мертву траву,
слухам, як дижджик сциха роши
и тащок уж под кридло скрива главу.

Єшень през поля празни блука
дзе ше нєдавно житко гойсало.
Писню шкорванчка орач нє слуха.
Шицко цо радоіне було долєтло, лєбо поспало.

Autumn is dying

Today dies opulent autumnv dead is the song of the cricket in the grass
only in my memory now
ithe sky and the calm sea are blue.

Quiet is disturbed for me only
when yellow leaves rustle and sorrow pains
when the skittish wind plays
with a leafless branch of the willow.

The wind carries the last leaf
and places it quietly on the dead grass,
I hear the quiet drizzle of rain
and the sparrow tucks head under wing.

Autumn wanders through empty fields
where once the wheat swayed.
No longer does the plowman listen to a skylark's song.
All that was joyful has flown away, or
fallen asleep.



Нiгда

Нє, нiгда ци нє допушим
же биш ме забул.
Нiгда ци нє допушим же
биш престал на мнє думац,
же биш ме престал шнiц

Зробим, шицко зробим
же биш ме паметал
док жиєш,
док жиєш же биш ше здогадал
мойого шмиху,
моєй радосци,
рокох твоiх и моєй младосци,
наши дньох и ноцох.

Нє, нiгда ци нє допушим
же биш забул мне,
же биш забул нас.

Never

I will never allow you
to forget me.
I will never allow you
to stop thinking about me
to stop dreaming about me.

I will do everything, everything
to make you remember me
as long as you live,
to remember as long as you live
my laughter,
my mirth,
your age and my youth,
our days and nights.

No, I will never allow you
to forget me,
to forget us.

Translations by Slavomir Olejar and Elaine Rusinko.

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