Samiilenko, Volodymyr

Image - Volodymyr Samiilenko (1893 photo).

Samiilenko, Volodymyr [Самійленко, Володимир; Samijlenko] (pseuds: Ivanenko, V. Poltavets, V. Syvenky, L. Sumny), b 3 February 1864 in Sorochyntsi, Myrhorod county, Poltava gubernia, d 12 August 1925 in Boiarka, Kyiv oblast. Poet, dramatist, and translator. He belonged to the Brotherhood of Taras. From 1905 he worked in Kyiv for the newspapers Hromads’ka dumka, Rada (Kyiv), and Shershen’. During the period of Ukrainian statehood he served in the Ukrainian National Republic Ministries of Education and Finance, and in 1919 he moved to Galicia with the UNR government. In 1924 he returned to Kyiv, where he worked as an editor in a literary publishing house.

Samiilenko began to publish his verse in Zoria (Lviv), and from 1886 he published his poems in the almanacs Skladka and Vatra and in thejournal Pravda and Literaturno-naukovyi vistnyk (LNV). His first collection, Z poezii Volodymyra Samiilenka (From the Poetry of Volodymyr Samiilenko), was published in Kyiv in 1890; his second, Ukraïni (To Ukraine), which included poems written from 1884 to 1906, was published in 1906 in Lviv with an introduction by Ivan Franko. His unfinished poem, Heia, was published in part in LNV (1922). In his lyric poetry Samiilenko expressed a high degree of idealism; quite a few of his poems are satirical (he wrote poems condemning ultra-patriotism, despotism, sellouts, and graphomania). He is the author of the dramatic works Marusia Churaïvna (1896), U Haikhan-Beia (1917), sections of the play Drama bez horilky (A Drama without Whiskey, 1895), and others. Samiilenko translated into Ukrainian Homer's Iliad, Dante's Divine Comedy, dramas by Moliére, Tristan, P.-A. de Beaumarchais, and A. France, and poems by P.-J. de Béranger, G. Byron, and many others. His Vybrani tvory (Selected Works), which includes his autobiography, was published in Kyiv in 1926; it was followed by Vybrani poeziï (Selected Poems, 1941, 1944, 1965) and Tvory v dvokh tomakh (Works in Two Volumes, 1958).

Ivan Koshelivets

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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