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COMENIUS PROJECT 2010-2012


Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov –( 1909 -1942) was a

Bulgarian poet and revolutionary. Working most of his life as a machinist, he only wrote in his spare time. Despite the fact that he ever published

only

one

poetry

book,

he

is

considered one of the biggest Bulgarian poets.


Trained as a machine engineer at the Naval Machinery School in Varna, which was later named after him, his first service was on the famous Drazki torpedo boat. In April and May 1932 Vaptsarov

visited

Istanbul,

Famagusta,

Alexandria, Beirut, Port Said, and Haifa as a crew member of the Burgas vessel.


Later he went to work in a factory - at first as a stoker and

eventually

as

a

mechanic. He was elected Chairman of the Association

protecting worker rights in the factory. He successfully led a strike of about 300 workers in 1936 to reinstate workers after a lock-out.


He got fired after a technical failure in 1936. This forced him to move to Sofia, where he worked for the state railway service

and

the

municipal

incinerating

furnace.

He

continued writing and a number of newspapers published poems of his. Blacklisted by his employers and with few friends and no savings he was exposed to hunger and

privation and saw his young child die. He finally found work in a flour mill. The conditions of work here were so appalling that several workers including a close mate of his died of tuberculosis.


Vaptsarov was devoted to his talent and spent

his free time writing and organising amateur

theatre pieces. The "Romantika" poem won him a poetry contest.


In early 1941 Nazi forces were allowed to enter Bulgaria and take control of the country as a prelude to the attack on the USSR. Vaptsarov joined the armed resistance movement and was active in the ‘military centre’. His training as an engineer and mechanic proved useful at this juncture. This was an extremely tiring and hazardous task and Vaptsarov found little time to write poems. Yet he was urged by his comrades to keep writing as one of them put it, ‘Though at the moment the fate of the world is being decided by arms, a stirring contemporary poem is no less important than arms.’


Vaptsarov was arrested in 1942

and

subjected

to

inhuman torture and finally executed on 23rd July, 1942. He continued to write till the very end, and indeed his last verse addressed to his wife

is one of the most moving and inspiring.


His only released book of poetry is Motoring Verses (1940).


In 1949, the Bulgarian Naval Academy in Varna was renamed Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy.


In 1952, he received posthumously the International Peace Award. His poetry has been translated in 98 languages throughout the world.


History, will you mention us In your faded scroll? We worked in factories, offices – Our names were not well known. We worked in fields, smelled strongly Of onion and sour bread. Through thick moustaches angrily We cursed the life we led. For life, showing no

mercy, affliction With heavy brutish We do not seek paw rewards, Battered our hungry Nor do we want our faces. pictures That’s why our tongue In the calendar of is raw. years. That’s why the poems Just tell our story I’m writing simply In hours I steal from To those we shall sleep not see, Have not the grace of Tell those who will perfume, replace us – But brief and scowling We fought beat. courageously. For the hardship and


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 Of the angry, bristling beast A crust. You, factory, Still seek to blind us With smoke and soot, Layer on layer.

In vain! For you teach us to struggle. We’ll bring The sun Down to us here. So many toil-blackened faces Under your tyranny smart. But one heart within you tirelessly Beats with a thousand hearts.


Sometimes I’ll come when you’re asleep, An unexpected visitor. Don’t leave me outside in the street, Don’t bar the door! I’ll enter quietly, softly sit And gaze upon you in the dark. Then, when my eyes have gazed their fill, I’ll kiss you and depart.


* Аз поне не познавам друга поезия,която да излъчва такава

силна топлота, човечност, близост и честност, поезия, която да е толкова убедителна в изискванията си хуманна справедливост и мир,каквато е поезията на Вапцаров. И колко вяра в поета и в неговото бъдеще, колко копнеж за живот изразява и предава тази поезия, така проста, скромна и непосредствена като слово, поезия,която не приема красивите думи и натруфеността.

Aris Dikteos


* Аз съм сигурна, че още дълго време подрастващите поколения ще черпят от неговата поезия духовна чистота, дълбок и действен хуманизъм и нравствена сила...

Жермен Ив Фарж


* Да бъдеш съвременен, модерен е основно изискване към твореца. Ние не бива да оставаме при миналото, трябва да

сме обърнати към бъдещето. И със своето творчество Вапцаров ни учи именно на това. Той създаде една истинска модерна поезия - и новаторска, и народна по дух и изразни средства, в това е според мен истинският смисъл…

Марио де Микели


* Днес виждам как този снажен и непоколебим поет – борец на България е станал толкова голям, че не може да се задържи в географските граници на родината си.

Али Сардар Джафри


* Истинските поети се раждат и остават в народната памет със своите дела, с това , което са направили през

живота си. Прекрасен пример за това е Вапцаров, който така рано си отиде от нас, но никога не си отиде от литературата.

Сергей Михалков


* Нека цел свет да ме чуе: "Родината на Вапцаров е България, в която той работи и умря... в почудя бех как такъв поет да е

писал своите стихове на чужд език и после чуждите хора да ги превеждат на родния му език. Това пиша аз майката на поета с немощната си ръка.

Елена Вапцарова


* Той е бил един прекрасен, нежен и храбър човек, и като много други хора, стана една от многобройните жертви,

които даде нашия ужасен век.

Рафаел Алберти


* Той не е само поет на българския народ, но един от

големите поети на нашата епоха, един от най-устремените нейни певци.

Георге Дину



vaptsarov