International Poetry Festival MERIDIAN POLTAVA
7-9 June, 2019, Poltava city
Poltava is a romantic poetry, poems of Byron, Hugo, Pushkin.
The first was Byron:
‚Twas after dread Pultowa’s day,
When the fortune left the royal Swede,
Around a slaughtered army lay
No more to combat and to bleed.
Byron’s poem „Mazepa“ was translated into Ukrainian by Chernivtsi poet Dmytro Zagul:
В жахливий день біля Полтави
Од шведів щастя утекло.
Навкруг порубане, криваве
Все військо Карлове лягло.
Instead, the statistics of real fight near Poltava does not look romantic. About 11,000 killed: Swedes, Germans, Finns, Russians, Ukrainians, and others. In total – 23 000 prisoners of war, only a sixth part of which has returned home. In anticipation of the battle, soldiers on both sides, especially the Swedes, suffered from cold and malnutrition. The Lutheran pastor of the Swedish army later recalled the soldiers who, due to frostbite, remained without limbs, noses and ears. During the war prisoners were almost not taken away: they were executed on the spot, and those who were taken, were undressed. Some Swedish regiments were cut to the last soldier, including musicians and cooks.
MERIDIAN POLTAVA International Poetry Festival is a tribute to the memory of the victims of the Poltava battle. Poltava is poetry, but poetry-requiem.
P.S. Chernivtsi poet Dmitry Zagul, translator of Byron’s poem „Mazepa“, died in the Soviet concentration camp in Kolyma in 1944.