Burns supper at the Ukrainian Institute in London
An evening devoted to the life and poetry of Robert Burns, Scotland’s National poet loved worldwide, was held at the Ukrainian Institute in London on January 25th. The evening was organised by London’s Ukrainian Theatre Group under the leadership of Olesya Khromeychuk, Ph.D, together with Uilleam Blacker, a native Scotsman, who has learnt to speak fluent Ukrainian and recently defended his PhD on representations of space in contemporary Ukrainian literature.
During the candlelit evening, which involved a sampling of haggis and a wee dram of Scotland’s most loved tipple, Uilleam and Olesya focussed on the life of Burns and read his poems. Translations of his great works also followed in Ukrainian, Russian, French, Italian and Esperanto, read by audience.
The evening involved both singing of Burns’ songs in the original and Ukrainian translations. The evening ended with a traditional Auld Lang Syne.
One of Burns’ poems O, Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast has become popular in Ukraine due to the performance by Ukrainian musical group Pikardiyska tertsiya of its translation Nehaj i holod i vitry (Нехай і холод і вітри). The text of Robert Burns’ original and the Ukrainian translation enclosed below.
O, Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast (Robert Burns Original)
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
Or were I in the wildest waste,
Nehaj i holod i vitry… (Нехай і холод і вітри…)
Нехай і холод, і вітри,
Нехай і горе, і біда,
Нехай я стану злидарем
Нехай я стану владарем