Peyo Kracholov Yavorov was born 136 years ago in the town of Chirpan (Central Bulgaria). He was destined to become one of the greatest Bulgarian poets. On October 29, 2014, we are to mark the 100th anniversary since his tragic death. When it comes to love poetry, we can definitely say that Yavorov’s pieces are the most captivating ones in this country. Todor Ivanov who is the keeper of the museum of Peyo Yavorov in his home town of Chirpan and Chairman of the Yavorov Foundation told us about the life of this great Bulgarian poet.
Peyo started to write poetry when he was only seven-years-old. His literature teacher was highly impressed by his poetry. “Boy, you are not like the rest, you are gifted by God”, he used to tell him. At the insistence of his father who believed that men had to earn money and women had to stay at home and take care of the family, Peyo Yavorov left school and became a telegraph operator in the coastal town of Pomorie. However, poetry remained his biggest passion. Thus, in 1901, a book of his poetry was published in the city of Varna including poems such as Calliope, Hailstorm and Armenians. In 1902 Yavorov departed with the revolutionary detachment headed by Mihail Chakov to fight for the liberation of the region of Macedonia which was still under the Ottoman rule. “We viewed him as an idol”, Mihail Chakov himself wrote later in his memoirs.
“In 1903 he spent time in Macedonia with the revolutionary detachment led by Gotse Delchev. After the uprising of 1903 was crushed and Gotse Delchev was killed, Yavorov was in deep crisis and wrote the biography of the revolutionary. He also published a second collection of poems.”
Mina Todorova, the sister of writer Petko Todorov was the biggest love of Peyo Yavorov. The poet dedicated his poem Fair Pair of Eyes to her. The woman died from tuberculosis at the age of 20. After her death Yavorov temporarily stopped writing poetry. He spent half a year in Paris in 1910 bringing red roses to the grave of his beloved every single day.
Later Yavorov met the daughter of politician Petko Karavelov at a trip near Sofia.
“Lora Karavelova had just returned from a catholic school in France. She knew 4 languages and played the piano but was engaged to a boring man for her – Dr. Ivan Dryankov. The power of attraction between the two was so strong that after their first meeting Yavorov wrote a poem that he was to dedicate to her 8 years later, before committing suicide with a bullet and poison.
In 1908 Peyo Yavorov became playwright in the National Theatre in Sofia and was loved by everyone. Lora sent him flowers and postcards but he tried to avoid her. He had a bad feeling that this woman would bring him sadness. However they eventually became a couple and on August 19, 1912 they became engaged.
During that time Yavorov was a representative of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, Todor Ivanov says. He used to keep weapons and money of the organization. Lora also helped him with his tasks. But she was an incredibly jealous woman. After yet another family row on November 30, 1913 Lora snatched a gun out of Yavorov’s hands and shot herself in the heart. Half an hour later he tried to follow her but only lost his sight.”
The relatives of Lora thought Yavorov shot her. 1914 is the last year of the poet’s life. People called him murderer and he was fired from the theatre. Yavorov told his few left friends: “I Swear I did not kill Lora. Reality killed her.”
On October 29 Yavorov took his own life using poison and a gun to make sure. The whole of Sofia that previously called him a killer went to his funeral. He was buried next to his beloved. Literary critic Boyan Penev said at his funeral: “Currently we do not realize what we lose but decades or a century would pass and Bulgarians would find out what a genius he had.”
English version: Alexander Markov
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