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
Today I would like to write a poem
What were you to me? Nothing. A land forgotten and remote, a land of knights and high plateaux.
Sometimes I'll come when you're asleep, An unexpected visitor. Don't leave me outside in the street. Don't bar the door!
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
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?
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.
Mother, Fernandéz is killed! Fernandéz is dead and buried
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!'
Winds toss the leaves yellow and withered, three long years our homes we haven't seen. There our wives believe they're widowed, wring their hands and gaze toward Pirin.
Spring In The Factory
She tried to get in with the morning shift, the motor grumbled, Looking stern and grim: 'You can't do that!
Over Pirin howling winds the forests sway. We were seven
Here am I-breathing,
And Writing my poetry
(My best to it giving).
Life and I glower
Across at each other,
and with it I struggle
with all my power