Book Details

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The Grand Harmony

By Bohdan Ihor Antonych

2017 | Glagoslav Publications (external site)
Copy Available: Yes

Language: English
Pages: 78
ISBN: 978-1-911414-35-3 (paper)

Translated by Michael M. Naydan.

The extraordinarily inventive Ukrainian poet and literary critic Bohdan Ihor Antonych  (1909-1937), the son of a Catholic priest, died prematurely at the early age of 28 of pneumonia. Originally from the mountainous Lemko region in Poland, where a variant of Ukrainian is spoken, he was home-schooled for the first eleven years of his life because of frequent illness. He began to write poetry in Ukrainian after he moved to the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv to continue his studies at the University of Lviv. He published just three collections of poetry in his lifetime: A Greeting to Life (1931), Three Rings (1934), and The Book of the Lion (1936), with the latter two firmly establishing his reputation as one of the best poets of his time in Ukraine. Three additional collections, The Green Gospel (1938), Rotations (1938), and The Grand Harmony (1967), were published posthumously.

A collection of poems on religious themes written in 1932 and 1933, The Grand Harmonyis a subtle and supple examination of Antonych’s intimately personal journey to faith, with all its revelatory verities as well as self-questioning and doubt. The collection marks the beginning of Antonych’s development into one of the greatest poets of his time. During Soviet times it was banned for its religious content. It was first published in its entirety in 1967 in New York.