Biography of Maksim Bahdanovič
Maksim Bahdanovich (also Bahdanovich; Bogdanovich; Bagdanovich) (December 9, 1891 – May 25, 1917) was a famous Belarusian poet, journalist and literary critic.
Bahdanovich was born in Minsk in the family of a scientist. In 1892 the family moved to Hrodna where his mother soon died of tuberculosis.
In 1896 the poet's father, Adam Bahdanovich moved with his children to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. At that time Maksim wrote his first poems in the Belarusian language. In 1902 Bahdanovich attended a gymnasium. During the Revolution of 1905 he was an active participant of the strikes organised by his commilitodes.
In 1907 Nasha Niva came out with Bahdanovich's first published work — the novel Muzyka.
In June 1908 the poet's family moved to Yaroslavl'. After finishing school in 1911 Bahdanovich went to Belarus to meet important figures of the Belarusian Renaissance: Vaclau Lastouski, Ivan Luckievich and Anton Luckievich. In the same year he began studying of law at a Yaroslavl' lyceum. During his studies Bahdanovich worked at a newspaper, wrote numerous works of literature and was actively published in both Belarus and Russia.
In the beginning of 1914 his book of poems, Vianok, was published in Vilna.
In the summer of 1916, after absolvation of the lyceum, Maksim Bahdanovich went to Minsk and worked there at the local guberniya administration.
In February 1917 Bahdanovich went to Crimea to be treated for tuberculosis. The treatment was unsuccessful, and that year he died in Yalta.
The poet's papers were kept at his father's house, but the collection was heavily damaged during the Russian Civil War in 1918.
In 1991–1995 a full collection of Bahdanovich's poetry was published in Belarus.
Nowadays there are museums of the poet open in Minsk (Maksim Bahdanovič Literary Museum), Hrodna and Yaroslavl'. Several streets in major cities of Belarus and Russia are named after him.
The operas Zorka Venera (by Jury Siemianiaka and Ales' Bachyla), and Maksim (by Ihar Palivoda).
Bahdanovich created many examples of social, artistic and philosophical lyrics. He was the first poet to introduce several new lyrical forms to Belarusian literature.
Maksim Bahdanovich was a translator of Paul Verlaine, Heinrich Heine, Alexander Pushkin, Ovid, Horace and other poets into Belarusian and of Janka Kupala, Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko into Russian.
Maksim Bahdanovič Poems
To S. Palujan
(Triolet) You were, like the moon, alone: You lonely lived, you lonely died. Though wide the world with people sown,
From 'In The Village'
Once upon a working day in summer-time I passed through a village. In a dreary line On both sides of the winding narrow lane, the houses Stood there, grey, decayed, like old rags, dull and frowsty;
Venus The Star
Venus, new-risen above the broad skyline, Brings with her bright-shining memories of love. Do you recall, when we met for the first time Venus new-risen above?
The Weaver-Women Of Slucak
From native home, from native tillage, To the Big House, for beauty's sake, Luckless girls taken from their village, Girdles of woven gold to make.
To The Critic
(Triolet) No statues did Cellini hew But only statuettes.
Above The White Down Of The Cherries
Above the white down of the cherries, Like blue fire, soaring high, Cleaving, weaving pathways, light and Swift — a blue-winged butterfly.
Venus The Star
Venus, new-risen above the broad skyline,
Brings with her bright-shining memories of love.
Do you recall, when we met for the first time
Venus new-risen above?
From that time forth, evermore skyward gazing,
Seeking that planet, I'd scan heaven o'er,
Within me, a deep silent love for you blazing,
From that time forth, evermore.