Happy Birthday to Juliusz Slowacki (1809-1849), a Polish Romantic poet who is considered one of the "Three Bards" of Polish literature, and the father of modern Polish drama. Here is an image of a stamp commemorating the centenary of Slowacki's death, designed by Polish artist Mieczyslaw Watorski (1903-1979), engraved by Boguslaw Brandt (1909-1983), and issued by Poland on December 5, 1949, Scott No. 466, plus an image of a portrait of the poet by British engraver James Hopwood the Younger (c. 1800–1850), and a URL link to an translation by Walter Whipple of Juliusz Slowacki's poem "My Testament:" http://www.mission.net/poland/warsa...testamen.htm
Here is an image of a stamp featuring a portrait of Spanish poet Jorge Guillén y Álvarez (1893-1984), engraved by Antonino Sánchez Gutiérrez (1932- ), and issued by Spain on November 29, 1993 to commemorate the poet's birth centenary, Scott No. 2755, Edifil No. 3275, plus an image of a detail from a photograph of Jorge Guillén which was the model for this stamp's design, and a translation of his poem Perfección.
The firmament remains curved, A compact blue over the day. It is the rounding out of Splendor: mid-day. Everything is a cupola. The rose, Central without wanting it, reposes, Subject to the sun at its zenith. This much the present time gives, That the walking foot feels The integrity of the planet.
Here is an image of a stamp featuring a portrait of German nationalist poet Ernst Moritz Arndt (1769-1860), designed by Heinz Schillinger, combined engraved by Manfred Spiegel and lithography, and issued by Germany on November 13, 1969 to commemorate the bicentenary of the poet's birth, Scott No. 1013, Michel No. 611, plus an image of a detail from a lithographic portrait of Ernst Moritz Arndt, and a translation of his poem "To God's Care I Commit Myself."
To God's Care I Commit Myself
Again is hushed the busy day, And all to sleep is gone away; The deer hath sought his mossy bed, The bird hath hid his little head. And man to his still chamber goes To rest from all his cares and woes.
Yet steps he first before his door, To look into the night once more, With love-thanks and love-greeting, there, For rest his spirit to prepare, To see the high stars shine abroad And drink once more the breath of God.
Mild Father of the world, whose love Keeps watch o'er all things from above, To Thee my stammering prayer would rise; Bend down from yonder starry skies; And from Thy sparkling, sun-strewed way, Oh teach thy feeble child to pray!
All day Thou hadst me in Thy sight; So guard me, Father, through this night; And by thy dear benignity From Satan's malice shelter me; For what of evil may befall The body, is the least of all.
Oh send from realms of purity The dearest angel in to me, As a peace-herald let him come, And watchman, to my house and home, That all desires and thoughts of mine, Around thy heaven may climb and twine.
Then day shall part exultingly, Then night a word of love shall be, Then morn an angel-smile shall wear Whose brightness no base thing can bear, And we, earth's children, walk abroad, Children of light and sons of God.
And when the last red evening-glow Shall greet these failing eyes below, When yearns my soul to wing its way To the high track of endless day, Then all the shining ones shall come To bear me to the spirit's home.
Here is an image of a stamp depicting a gaucho playing a guitar, and a mounted gaucho wielding a bolas, illustrations for El Gaucho Martín Fierro (1872), the first part of an epic poem by the Argentine writer José Hernández (1834-1886), printed by photogravure, and issued by Spain on October 12, 1974 as one of a set of four stamps commemorating Spain's cultural ties with Latin America, Scott No. 1843, plus an image of the title page of the 1894 edition of the poem, and a translation of the first few lines of El Gaucho Martín Fierro.
From El Gaucho Martín Fierro
Here I come to sing to the beat of my guitar: because a man who is kept from sleep by an uncommon sorrow comforts himself with singing, like a solitary bird.
Happy Birthday to French Romantic poet, writer, and politician Alphonse de Lamartine (1790-1869)! Here is an image of a stamp honoring Lamartine, designed by French artist Pierrette Lambert (1928- ), engraved by Claude Jumelet (1946- ), and issued by Monaco on December 15, 1970, Scott No. 780, plus an image of a portrait of the poet by Belgian artist Henri Decaisne (1799-1852), and a translation of Alphonse de Lamartine's poem Le papillon ("The Butterfly"), from Nouvelles méditations poétiques (1823).
Coming with the daffodils and dying with the roses, Wafted by the zephyr's wing athwart the spaces high, Lurking in the flower's bloom or e'er its breast uncloses, Reeling with sweet draughts of scent, and light, and deep blue sky; Shaking wide its dusty wings and like the breezes breasting Burdenless and innocent the sky's eternal steep:-- Thus doth fare the butterfly like hope that never resting, Rifles all but cannot quench desire that ever questing, Bears it home to heaven again for lasting joy and deep.
- Alphonse de Lamartine Translated by Wilfrid Thorley
Here is an image of a stamp featuring a portrait of Portuguese Neoclassic poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage (1765-1805), designed by Portuguese painter and graphic artist Luis Dourdil (1914-1989), printed by lithography, and issued by Portugal on December 28, 1966 to commemorate the bicentenary of Bocage's birth, Scott No. 991, plus an image of a sketch of the poet at his writing desk, and a free translation of some verse in which Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage described himself.
Thin, blue eyes, tanned face, His fair share of feet, middling height, Sad of face, the same of figure, High nose in the middle, and not small; Incapable of staying in just one place, More prone to furor than to tenderness; Drinking in his pale hands, out of a dark cup, From hellish zeal lethal poison; Devote incense burner to a thousand deities (I mean, a thousand girls) in a single moment, Loving the friars only at the altar, This is Bocage, in whom some talent shines; From himself these truths have come, On a day that he felt more dull.
Here is an image of an airmail stamp honoring Colombian poet and writer José Eusebio Caro Ibañez (1817-1853), engraved and printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co., Ltd., and issued by Colombia on November 29, 1955 to commemorate the first centenary (in 1953) of Caro's death, Scott No. C281, plus an image of a photograph of José Eusebio Caro, and my rough translation of his poem Enviando una manzana ("Sending an apple"). Corrections from native Spanish speakers welcome!
Enviando una manzana
Esta disforme, colosal manzana, Tan bella hoy, marchita ya mañana, Emblema mudo de nosotros es.
Gústala pronto, el tiempo se apresura... ¡Ay! ¡la fealdad sucede a la hermosura, Y a la edad de las risas la vejez!
Sending an apple
This misshapen, colossal apple, So beautiful today, withered tomorrow, Mute emblem of us it is.
Taste it soon, time rushes by... Oh! Ugliness succeeds beauty, And the age of laughter old age!
Happy Birthday to Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, née Kossak (1891-1945), a prolific Polish poet and dramatist known as "the Polish Sappho" and "queen of lyrical poetry." Here is an image of a stamp featuring a portrait of Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, designed by Henryk Chylinski (1936- ), printed by photogravure, and issued by Poland on March 25, 1983 to commemorate the poet's birth centenary, Scott No. 2563, plus an image of a photograph of Maria Pawlikowska-Jasnorzewska, and a translation of her poem Milosc ("Love").
I haven't seen you for a month, Yet nothing happened. I may be paler, a little sleepy, a little more silent, but it shows one can live without air!
Here is an image of a stamp featuring a portrait of Russian lyric poet Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin (also spelled Esenin, 1895-1925), designed by Roman Filippovich Zhitkov (1907-1999), printed by lithography, and issued by Russia (USSR) on November 29, 1958, Scott No. 2144, Zagorski No. 2171, plus an image of a photograph of Sergei Yesenin in 1922, and a translation of his poem "Bloom And Pass Away."
Bloom And Pass Away
I do not regret, and I do not shed tears, all, like haze off apple-trees, must pass. Turning gold, I'm fading, it appears, I will not be young again, alas.
Having got to know the touch of coolness I will not feel, as before, so good. And the land of birch trees - oh my goodness! Cannot make me wander barefoot.
Vagrant's spirit! You do not so often stir the fire of my lips these days. Oh my freshness, that begins to soften! Oh my lost emotions, vehement gaze!
Presently I do not feel a yearning, oh, my life! Have I been sleeping fast? Well, it feels like early in the morning on a rosy horse I've galloped past.
We are all to perish, hoping for some favour, golden leaves flow down turning grey. May you be redeemed and blessed for ever, you who came to bloom and pass away…
Alexey - Thanks! Glad you liked it. Disclosure: I only slightly tweaked the unattributed translation I found online.
Here is an image of a stamp honoring British-Canadian poet and writer Robert William Service (1874-1958), called "the Bard of the Yukon," featuring an illustration from his poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee (1907), printed by lithography, and issued by Canada on August 17, 1976, Scott No. 695, plus a photo of Robert W. Service, and the first stanza from his most famous poem.
From The Cremation of Sam McGee
There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge I cremated Sam McGee.
Here is an image of a stamp designed after a detail of a portrait of German poet and novelist Theodor Fontane (1819-1898), printed by photogravure, and issued for use in Germany (Berlin) on January 7, 1970 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the writer's birth, Scott No. 9N282, Michel No. 353, plus an image of the original painting by German artist Johannes "Hanns" Fechner (1860-1931), and a link to a webpage dedicated to Theodor Fontane's poem "John Maynard!" : http://johnmaynard.net/maynard.html
Here is an image of a stamp honoring Persian poet Abu-Muhammad Muslih al-Din bin Abdallah Shirazi, better known by his pen-name Saadi (c. 1210-1291), designed by Roman Filippovich Zhitkov (1907-1999), printed by photogravure, and issued by Russia (USSR) on March 20, 1959 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of Saadi's book Gulistan (1258), Scott No. 2189, Zagorski No. 2207, plus an image of an illustration entitled "Saadi in a Rose garden," attributed to Govardhan, from a Mughal manuscript of his work Gulistan, and a translation of the aphorism Bani Adam from Gulistan. Note: I don't know why Saadi's birth year is indicated as 1184 on this stamp!
All men and women are to each other the limbs of a single body, each of us drawn from life's shimmering essence, God's perfect pearl; and when this life we share wounds one of us, all share the hurt as if it were our own. You, who will not feel another's pain, you forfeit the right to be called human.
Here is an image of a stamp honoring Vietnamese poet Nguyen Du (1765-1820), best known for his epic poem The Tale of Kieu, printed by lithography, and issued by (North) Vietnam on November 25, 1965 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the poet's birth, Scott No. 392, plus an image of a statue of the poet at the Nguyen Du memorial site in Ha Tinh Province, and a translation of an excerpt from Nguyen Du's epic poem. Bonus: Book.
From The Tale of Kieu
As evidenced by centuries of human existence Destiny and genius are apt to feud Having endured an upheaval The sights observed must wrench one's heart 'Tis no surprise to find the bad and good in pairs So a maiden blessed by beauty is likewise cursed by envy.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (1904-1948) was an Indian poet famous for Hindi poems composed primarily in Veer Ras, one of the nine Ras' ("Flavor" or "Subgenre") of Hindi poetry. Here is an image of a stamp featuring a portrait of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, printed by photogravure, and issued by India on August 6, 1976, Scott No. 728, plus a translation of the first verse from one of Chauhan's most popular poems, Jhansi ki rani, which is about Lakshmibai (1828-1858), the courageous Rani (Queen) of Jhansi, who, as one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, became for Indian nationalists a symbol of resistance to the British Raj, and an image of a miniature of the Rani of Jhansi found during the British forces' capture of the Nawab of Farrukhabad's palace in 1857.
From Jhansi ki rani
The thrones shook and royalties scowled Old India was re-invigorated with new youth People realised the value of lost freedom Everybody was determined to throw the foreigners out The old sword glistened again in 1857 This story we heard from the mouths of Bundel bards Like a man she fought, she was the Queen of Jhansi