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IVAN FRANKO1856-1916


, . . , , , , , , , . . . There are two classes of poets - the poets by education and practice, these we respect; and poets by nature, these we love.Ralph Waldo EmersonThe great poet is always a seer, seeing less with the eyes of the body than he does with the eyes of the mind. Oscar Wilde

Ivan Yakovych Franko was aUkrainianpoet, writer, social and literary critic, journalist, interpreter, economist, political activist, doctor of philosophy,ethnographer, the author of the first detectivenovelsand modern poetry in theUkrainian language.

Ivan Franko was born in the village of Nahuievychi (now Drogobytskyy district, Lviv region). He wrote about his childhood in the short stories:U kuzni(In the Smithy), Malyi Myron (Little Myron), Pid Oborohom (Under the Haystack).

Ivan Franko "In the Smithy"

translated by Ivan Petryshyn In the valley, theres a country side,above the village, the mists spreading wide,by the village, on an elevation,there is a big smithy station.In that smithy, a blacksmith is striking,and his heart is deeply a-liking,and hes smithing singing in gracecalling up the people to his place.Come out, people, from the huts, from the fields!heres the place, where a better luck yields.come out, people, till its not late,get out from the fog, do not wait!But the fogs are a-rocking,at the village, they are mocking,over the fields, they are spreading,blocking with darkness the peoples treadding,Every path for them to block,not to let them upwards from the fog,to the smithy, where they forgethe weapons, bright,instead of clogs, fetters and ties.

House of gymnasium (Drogobych, Shevchenko str., 24), where in 1867 1875 Ivan Franko had been studied.

After finishing gymnasium in the town of Drogobych Ivan Franko continued his education in Lviv and later in Chernivtsi. In 1891 he graduated from the department of Philology of Chernivtsi University. The National University in Lviv was named after Ivan Franko

One of the innovators of all genres of literature was Ivan Franko. He raised the post-Shevchenko Ukrainian poetry of the late 19th and early 20th century to new heights. He did the same in prose. He devoted much attention to translations from foreign languages. His merits as a thinker and scholar were great in many fields: the history and theory of literature, folklore, political economy, history, ethnography.


His greatest poem, "Moses" (1905), which in a biblical setting deals with the conflict between a leader and his people and proclaims

the ideal of service to one's people, was based to a large extent on autobiographical material.

"Zakhar Berkut" (1883), a historical novel based on ancient Ukrainian chronicles, presents the heroic resistance

of Ukrainian highlanders to the Mongols in 1241.


In drama Franko proved himself a master of the sociopsychological and historical play and of comedy. His best plays are the sociopsychological drama "Stolen Happines" (1894) and the historical drama in verse "The Dream of Prince Sviatoslav" (1895). Special mention must be made of Franko's work as a translator, which he carried on throughout his life. He translated masterpieces from 14 languages by famous authors including Homer, Dante, W. Shakespeare, J. Goethe, E. Zola, O. Pushkin, M. Lermontov.

IVAN FRANKO is so important for Ukrainian people that there are many monuments to him all over Ukraine.

In 1962 the city of Stanyslaviv in western Ukraine (formerlyStanisaww, Poland) was renamedIvano-Frankivskin the poet's honor.

Monument to Ivan Franko in Ivano-Frankivsk

On the 28th of May (1916) Franko died in Lviv. He was burried at the Lychakivsky Cemetery. His death was a great loss for Ukrainian literatureIvan Franko is the favourite author of millions of Ukrainians, a real peoples poet.I thought of the new human brotherhoods birth,And wondered: how soon it will come to the earth?I saw in a vision the vast, fertile fiedsWorked jointly, providing magnificent yields,Supporting the people in freedom and bounty.Can this the Ukraine be, my own native country,Which once was forsaken the conquerors prey?Yes, that is indeed the Ukraine, new and free!I gazed, and the ache in my heart ebbed away! IVAN FRANKO