(1) History does not record a Hamaliya who attacked Istanbul's Asian suburb of bcutari in order to liberate Cossack captives from its dungeon. This particular event ls therefore Shevchenko's own product of fiction. However, it is a faithful depiction °r Cossack raids against the Turkish coastal towns that actually occurred and in similar circumstances. The poem seems to be an elaboration of “Ivan Pidkova,” p. 40. At is quite dramatic in its narrative and abounding in highly poetic personifications of natural sights and phenomena. It was written during Shevchenko's trip across the Baltic to Stockholm.
(2) These four quatrains express the lamentations of the Cossack captives who avvait their liberation in the Turkish dungeon.
(3) The Great Meadow, a vast swampy and reedy plain surrounding the Sitch encampment along the lower reaches of the Dnieper.
(4) Dnieper's estuary.
(5) The Dnieper is here compared to a bewhiskered old man, just as previously the Bosphorus is pictured as a grey ox, both fine comparisons.
(6) The Great Meadow, a vast swampy and reedy plain surrounding the Sitch encampment along the lower reaches of the Dnieper.
(7) An island on the Dnieper, beyond its rapids, on which the first Cossack encampment was established, perhaps by Dmitro Bayda-Vishnevetsky who built a fortress there in 1552.
(8) The sequence is very finely executed: The Bosphorus hears the Cossacks’ lament, sends their longing on its rocky ribs to the Black Sea, which bears the message upon its waves to Liman, which transmits it to the Dnieper, which bellows it out to the Cossacks in the Great Meadow and on the Khortitsia, thus informing them of the plight of their fellow-countrymen.
(9) The Cossacks invariably raided the Turkish coastal towns in stormy weather, for then they were least expected to do so, and thus could take the Turks by surprise.
(10) At their head, because he is leading them. Compare their return.
(11) It was the Cossack custom, when their work was done, to light their pipes with e fire o£ the conflagration they had set, as a flaunting gesture of their victory.
(12) He is now at the rear, to protect them from the enemy’s pursuit.
(13) Hetman Petro Konashevich-Sahaydachny who likewise led raids against the Turkish coastal towns, among them Galata, another suburb of Istanbul, which he razed. It is supposed that he became a monk when his warring days were over.
Translated by С.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell
Source: The Poetical Works of Taras Shevchenko. The Kobzar. Translated from the Ukrainian by С.H. Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell. Published for the Ukrainian Canadian Committee by University of Toronto Press, 1964. Toronto and Buffalo. Printed in Canada, Reprinted 1977, p. 143 - 149.
Original publication: Taras Shevchenko. Zibrannia tvoriv: U 6 t. — K., 2003. — T. 1: Poeziia 1837-1847. — S. 234-238; S. 685-687.
Here you can find Ukrainian text of the Taras Shevchenko's poem: Original poem in Ukrainian
The poetical works of Taras Shevchenko:
(Translated by Constantine Henry Andrusyshen and Watson Kirkconnell).
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