Biography of Nikola Vaptsarov
Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov was a Bulgarian poet, communist and revolutionary. He was born in Bansko to a Bulgarian militant father and a Protestant mother. Trained as a machine engineer at the Naval Machinery School in Varna, later Naval Academy, he worked machinist jobs most of his life and wrote in his spare time. His only released book of poetry is Motoring Verses (1940). Because of his underground communist activity against the government of Boris III and the German troops in Bulgaria, he was arrested and executed by a firing squad.
In 1949, the Bulgarian Naval Academy was renamed Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy. In 1952, he received posthumously the International Peace Award. His Selected Poems were published in London in 1954, by Lawrence & Wishart, translated into English with a foreword by British poet Peter Tempest. His poetry has been translated in 98 languages throughout the world. Vaptsarov Peak in eastern Livingston Island, Antarctica is named after the famous Bulgarian poet.
His only released book of poetry is Motoring Verses (1940).
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Nikola Vaptsarov Poems
Here am I-breathing, Working, Living And Writing my poetry
Sometimes I'll come when you're asleep, An unexpected visitor. Don't leave me outside in the street. Don't bar the door!
The Very Last
The fight is hard and pitiless The fight is epic, as they say. I fell. Another takes my place - Why single out a name?
What were you to me? Nothing. A land forgotten and remote, a land of knights and high plateaux.
Mother, Fernandéz is killed! Fernandéz is dead and buried
Spring of mine, O spring of mine so white, as yet unlived, as yet unfeasted, alone in visions vague yet dreamt of, how low above the poplars do you skim,
A Song Of Man
We argued, a lady and I on the topic: 'The man of our time'.
Do you remember the sea, the engines, and the holds full of wet dark and that great longing for the Philippines
I had a mate, a good mate too, but... he coughed in trouble. A stoker by trade,
'Lori, aren't you asleep? Lori, d' you hear?' 'Quiet, duck your head down! It could seem they're scarce a foot away. You can't talk here.'
The Wife's Song
Now the quiet full of fear lowers in our little shack. Over is the fight, my dear, but you don't come back.
My Country's Mine
My country's mine; blue and clear above it shines the sky so bright; at dusk gleam starry chandeliers quenched at dawn by white daylight.
Today I would like to write a poem
A Love Song
Like a concrete slab above us the murderous threat grinds down once more. Dismay and feverish tumult hold us, within our souls we mutter 'War!'
A factory. Clouds of smoke above.
The people - simple,
the life - hard, boring.
Life with the mask and greasepaint off
is a savage dog snarling.
You must tirelessly fight,
must be tough and persist,
to extract from the teeth