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Trokhanovskii, Petro/Trochanowski, Piotr

Petro Murianka-Trokhanovskii/Петро Мурянка-Трохановскій. Petro Trokhanovskii was born in 1947 in southwestern Poland (Silesia) after his family was forced to leave their native village of Binczarowa during the 1947 Vistula Operation. He returned to the Lemko region in 1973. He was educated at the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Warsaw, although he was not ordained to the priesthood. There he took advantage of a rich library, became a voracious reader, and began to write. In the 1970s and 1980s he was a soloist in the Lemkovyna Song and Dance Ensemble, and he has served as director of choirs in Orthodox parishes in Sanok and Krynica.

Trokhanovskii's first stories appeared on the pages of Nashe slovo in Ukrainian. Three collections of his poetry were published in the 1980s in Polish and in bi-lingual Lemko-Polish editions: Suchy badyl (1983), Murianchysko (1984), and Iak sokil vody na kameni (1989). For the last he was awarded the Petak prize, the first non-Pole to receive it.

In 1983 Trokhanovskii co-founded the Lemko Vatra festival, which was one of the first manifestations of the Rusyn renaissance. He is prominent as an activist in Poland's Lemko Society and as the founding editor of its magazine, Besida. Since 1992 he has been a teacher of the Lemko language in Krynica, where he regularly organizes theatrical presentations based on his own dramatic compositions. For his work with the amateur youth theater “Terka,” he was named “Honored Cultural Activist” by the Polish Ministry of Culture. In 1994 he compiled an anthology of Rusyn poetry for children, Mamko, kup mi knyzhku.

In his collection of Rusyn-language verse, Planetnyky (2001), Trokhanovskii evokes the history of the Lemkos – the tragedy of their forced expulsion from their homeland, but also the renewal of Lemko culture in the present. Through the sophisticated poetic devices of these poems, the poet expresses his inner world, as well as his view of the everyday life of the Lemkos in their homeland and in exile. He often expresses doubts and despair:

Якы вас буду творил
моi верши новы
кед мi не остало
до щыпок любови

Чым сковынчал буду
кед эм сердце стратил
і уж єм тыма
што во мі плакали
не богатий

Кому вас буду складал
кед ніт мого сьвіта
кед серед дорогы
до Тебе небого
стаю шліпий

[How will I create you / my new verses / when not a bit / of love remains in me // With what shall I whimper / when I have lost my heart / and I am no longer rich / in what used to cry / in me // For whom will I create you / when my world no longer exists / when half way / to You poor thing / I stand blind ]

However, the proud Lemko, who “was born a hawk,” does not surrender to melancholy. He is drawn to life, which is renewed through his creative energy:

Грай зе мі, грай
Гудаку грай,Ї
Жебым стратил час, жебым забыл світ.
Мій рідний край,
Коханий край –
Жебым нашол зас, як в блаженным сні.

[Play for me, play / Play, musician, / So I might forget time, forget the world. / My native land, / My beloved land -- / I might find again, as in a blessed dream.]

As reviewer Vasyl’ Khoma has written, every poem in Murianka-Trokhanovskii’s book reveals a new aspect of the life, thoughts, and dreams of the Lemkos.

Elaine Rusinko

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