The chaos – the violin – the Сosmos in the I. Kalynets’s poem “Great-grandfather”

Keywords: violin, chaos, Cosmos, intermediality, art


In modern Ukrainian literary studies, the problem of researching intermedial relations in the artistic works of the Sixtiers, in particular, Ihor Kalynets, is relevant. At the same time, there is a lack of studies devoted to the analysis of separate texts. In our opinion, the poem ‘Great-grandfather’ from the collection ‘Kupala Fire’ demonstrates a harmonious interaction of the text levels, from the level of plot to the phonetic one. Therefore, the purpose of this article is a holistic study of the poem.

A structuralist approach was used to achieve the mentioned goal. The poem ‘Great-grandfather’ contains the signs of cinematography, and it is based on an external plot. The clipped image of the great-grandfather playing the violin is subtly nuanced and dynamic. The image of the violin, as an ancient sophisticated instrument symbolizing the soul of the great-grandfather, is analyzed. The examination of the dedication in the poetry (to ‘Oleg Krysa’ who is a world-famous Ukrainian violinist) gives reasons to assume that the great-grandfather was a virtuoso violinist. The images of a bow and rosin were analyzed as the attributes of a specific prayer-playing. The meaning of the violin playing is to help the nature and people to by pass the time of twilight with the minimum losses, to turn the chaos of dusk into the cosmic time of a starry night. At this point the great-grandfather becomes the centre of interaction, the final (the fifth) element which enables the transformation.

During the study of the colouring of the poem, we managed to conclude that the poetry was not so much of interest because of the colours, but because of their brightness. A noticeable development of brightness to the climax point was followed by a sinusoidal downturn. The last counterpoint in the colour chart is the image of the lemkas-‘soniakhs’ (sunflowers) who are under the influence of the maestro’s playing. The soundcode confirms the expressed ideas and demonstrates I. Kalynets’ virtuoso mastery of phonics.

It is concluded that the great-grandfather, who is a violinist, becomes the mediator of the cosmic processes at the moment when he loses the boundaries of his own personality and dissolves in art. The great-grandfather, turning the chaos of twilight into the Cosmos, opens up new spiritual perspectives for his fellow Lemks. It is about a mystical art that unites the day and the night, the heaven and the earth, the man and the God.


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Author Biography

Hryhorii Savchuk, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

PhD of Philological Sciences, Assistant Professor of the Department of the Ukrainian Literature


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How to Cite
Savchuk, H. (2023). The chaos – the violin – the Сosmos in the I. Kalynets’s poem “Great-grandfather”. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series “Philology”, (92), 40-46.