Zabila, Viktor

Zabila, Viktor [Забіла, Віктор], b 1808 on the Kukurivshchyna estate (now Zabilivshchyna), Borzna county, Chernihiv gubernia, d 1869 in Borzna. Romantic poet; descendant of the Cossack starshyna Zabila family. From the early 1830s he lived on his father's estates, where he was visited by Taras Shevchenko, Vasilii Shternberg, and Mikhail Glinka. He began to publish his works in the 1830s, in Lastôvka (1841). In 1906 Ivan Franko published Zabila’s collection Pisni kriz' sl'ozy (Songs through Tears). Zabila’s poetry, with its motifs of sorrow and sadness, was neither highly original nor of great significance, but his songs ‘Hude viter vel’my v poli’ (The Wind Is Blowing Much in the Field) and ‘Ne shchebechy soloveiku’ (Don't Sing, Nightingale), set to music by Glinka, achieved great popularity. Zabila also wrote music to some of his own works and performed them with bandura accompaniment. Glinka and Shevchenko wrote about him in their memoirs.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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