Orest, Mykhailo

Orest, Mykhailo [Орест, Михайло] (pseud of Mykhailo Zerov), b 27 November 1901 in Zinkiv, Poltava gubernia, d 12 March 1963 in Augsburg, Germany. Poet and translator; brother of Mykola Zerov and Dmytro Zerov. He graduated from the Kyiv Institute of People's Education. He began to publish his poetry after he emigrated to Germany in 1944. The published collections include Luny lit (Echoes of the Ages, 1944), Dusha i dolia (The Soul and Fate, 1946), Derzhava slova (The Dominion of Words, 1952), Hist’ i hospoda (The Guest and the Inn, 1952), and the posthumously published Pizni vruna (Late Sprouts, 1965). His works are said to continue the work of the Neoclassicists of the 1920s. His translations too have classical qualities; most have been published as collections, including the translations of Stefan George (1952), Max Dauthenday (1953), Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and C.-M.-R. Leconte de Lisle (1956). Anthologies of translations Orest has published include Antolohiia nimets’koï poeziï (Anthology of German Poetry, 1954), Antolohiia frantsuz’koï poeziï (Anthology of French Poetry, 1954), More i mushlia (The Sea and the Shell, an anthology of European poetry, including Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Polish, 1959), and Sim nimets’kykh novel (Seven German Novellas, 1962). He also printed unpublished or rare collections of his brother's works, including Sonnetarium (1948), Catalepton (1952), Corollarium (1958), and Nove ukraïns’ke pys’menstvo (New Ukrainian Writing, 1960). Orest also edited a collection of memoirs, Bezsmertni (The Immortals, 1963), about M. Zerov, Pavlo Fylypovych, and Mykhailo Drai-Khmara.

Ivan Koshelivets

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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