"Play then, play" by Pauluk or Paŭli︠u︡k Bahrym (in the poetry anthology Like Water, like Fire) contains the following lines:

... But the bagpipes I must play, for
I in Krosyn cannot stay more

A Lord in Krosyn rages harshly,
And with clubs they slew my father

I assume that Krosyn is a place, but I have been unable to discover exactly where this is or the significance of that location. Did something specific happen there that this poem is referring to?

1 Answer 1


It turns out that I should have read the introduction more carefully. Krosyn was, in fact, a small village in Belarus. From the anthology's introduction:

In 1828, when a liberalminded Catholic priest opened a parish school in his native village of Krosyn, he found to his surprise and delight that one of the serg-boys Who attended it, the 15-year-old Pauluk Bahrym, showed considerable talent as a poet. Within a very short time, as a result of serf riots in Krosyn, Bahrym was sent into the army for a term of twenty-five years (military service was frequently used in the Russian Empire for punitive purposes...) Although he lived until 1891, Bahrym is not heard of again as a poet after the brief flowering of his talent as a boy in Krosyn. One poem of his survives, the opening poem of this collection...

So, this poem refers to its author being sent to the military after the riots.


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