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150 سال از تولد خانم لسیا اوکرینکا
25 فوریه 2021 03:00

در تاریخ 25 فوریه 2021 ، اوکراینی های سراسر جهان 150 سالگرد تولد شاعر معروف خانم لسیا اوکرینکا را جشن می گیرند!

Lesya Ukrainka. A short history of life and creative work


«The outstanding Ukrainian poetess and dramatist Larisa Kosach-Kvitka who is known all over the world under her literary pseudonym Lesya Ukrainka, is one of the most prominent figures in history of national culture. She belongs to that rather narrow circle of geniuses that by their  talent and victorious activity glorify the spirit of native people, open wider horizons of life to them and give a shove to valuable self-consciousness and development.

         Lesya Ukrainka was born on February 25 (13 according to old style), 1871 in the town of Novohrad-Volynskyi. She was the second child in the family of a head of the district assembly of conciliators Petro  Kosach. Lesya’s mother, Olga Kosach, was descended from the age-old family of Dragomanov. Mykhaylo   Dragomanov, a prominent Ukrainian scientist, historian, philosopher, folklorist and public figure, was  brother to Lesya’s mother. All her life Lesya Ukrainka considered her uncle M. Dragomanov her spiritual mentor and teacher. Olga Kosach also was a well-known authoress (literary pseudonym Olena Pchilka), ethnographer, publisher (under her leadership the Ukrainian journal "Native Land" and "Young Ukraine" were published during the period from 1907 to 1916 ).

         Childhood of Larisa Kosach passed among the picturesque forests and lakes of Volyn’. An impressionable girl was imbibing beauty of native land, she was taking in her creative, inspired soul its songs and legends. After  years those impressions overflowed in poetic lines, in the immortal melody of the "Forest Song"...

         The first Lesya’s friend in the children's games  was her elder brother Mykhaylo (was born in 1869). They were so inseparable that they were easily named by relatives the common name — "Mysholosie". This friendship lasted whole life.

         Lesya learned how to read at the age of four, and by the time she was eight, she wrote her first poem, "Nadezhda" (“Hope”), which was written in reaction to the arrest and exile of her aunt, Olena  Kosach, who took part in a political movement against the tsarist autocracy.

         In 1879 the entire Kosach family moved to Lutsk. It was connected to a father’s transfer to that city.  At that time there were already three children in the family (in 1877 Lesya’s sister Olga was born). The same year Petro Kosach purchased a lot of land (about 500 hectares) in the village of Kolodyazhne near Kovely’ and started building houses for the family. Afterwards Kolodyazhne became the real family nest of the Kosach.

         At the very beginning of 1881 Lesya caught cold. That cold led to a serious illness — tuberculosis of the bone, - illness which tormented a poetess during all life, and her fight against which she called the “war of thirty years".

         Lesya Ukrainka had never studied neither in gymnasia  nor in any other educational establishments because of her illness. At first she was studying sciences together with her brother Mychaylo with private teachers (in particular she was learning Greek and Latin languages), afterwards with the help of her mother she learned German and French. Lesya learned on her own  many foreign languages, to perfection knew history, world literature, philosophy. She became one of the most well educated women of her time.

        Her illness put an end another passion of the poetess — serious studies  to play the piano. In opinion of relatives, Lesya had aptitude for music, not less, than for poetry. However, the tubercular process of bones of her left arm, operated in 1883, made it impossible to develop this talent in full.

         In November 1884 the Lviv journal «Zoria" (“Dawn”) printed a verse "Lily of the Valley". It was the first printed work of young poetess Larisa Kosach, signed by the name "Lesya Ukrainka".

         On advice of their mother Lesya and Mychaylo Kosach translated "Evenings on a Khutor  Near Dikan'ka" by Mykola Gogol..  Afterwards the following book was published:: M.Gogol. “Vechornytsi”  (Stories...). Translation of Mychaylo Obachnyi (pseudonym of M. Kosach) and Lesya Ukrainka, edited by Olena Pchilk. Lviv, 1885.

         In June 1887 in Lviv an almanac "The First Garland" was published.  That almanac included the poem "Mermaid" and a few verses of Lesya Ukrainka.

         At the end of 1880ies – at the beginning of 1890ies Lesya Ukrainka participated actively in activity of a literary circle called Pleyada (The Pleiades). Literary works were discussed on the meetings of the group, competitions of translations were held, there were plans to publish foreign classics in Ukrainian etc. Members of the society considered their task in  promotion of Ukrainian literature in the context of the European one. Senior comrades — composer Mykola Lysenko, writer Mychaylo Staritskiy, Olena Pchilka took care of young writers’ work.

         By then Lesya Ukrainka was already a formed creative personality with clear aims and strong persuasions. She had many enough accomplished poetries, among which were the real masterpieces, prosaic works, translations of works of H Heine, A. Mitskevich, Homer, V. Hugo. She even wrote "The Ancient History of Oriental Peoples". This book was created to help younger sisters and brother in studies. (There were six children in the Kosach family: Mychaylo, Larisa, Olga, Oksana., Mykola., Izidora ). 

    The first collection of poetry of Lesya Ukrainka “Na krylakh pisen’’” (On the Wings of Songs), was published  in March 1893.  The book was published in L'viv, and Ivan Franko was involved in its publication.. The book included the early poems of poetess, and also poetic cycles, such as "Seven Strings," "The Starry Sky," "Tears-Pearls," "The Journey to the Sea," "Crimean Memories," and "In the Children's Circle."

         In 1894 the dream of Lesya to meet with family of her uncle M. Dragomanov came true.  From 1876 he was in emigration, and by then lived in Bulgaria, working as a professor in the Sofia university. More than one year Lesya Ukrainka lived in Bulgaria. She  worked a lot in her uncle’s library, communicated with him, discussing all problems that were worrying her. The sincere, friendly relations Lesya had with all family of Dragomanov. However, there a poetess experienced her first heavy loss: on June 8, 1895 M. Dragomanov died of break of aorta.

         Lesya returned home exhausted. The state of health had become worse; tuberculosis of the bone had become acute.   It was  already treated  by therapeutic mud baths, by so-called "stretching out”, and by injections of medications... However, no physical sufferings could overcome strong nature of poetess. In the hardest times, as far as circumstances allowed, she continued to work, in relationships with relatives and friends she tried never to burden them with her problems, keeping visible rest and optimism.

        In 1897, while being treated in Yalta, Lesya Ukrainka met Serhiy Merzhynsky, an official from Minsk who was also receiving treatment for tuberculosis.  That meeting played an important role in life of a poetess. Her feelings for Merzhynsky were responsible for her showing a different side of herself. Examples include "Your Letters Always Smell of Withered Roses," "To Leave Everything and Fly to You," and "I'd Like to Wind Around You Like Ivy," and others which were unpublished in her lifetime and were dedicated to Serhiy Merzhynsky. 

         At the beginning of 1899 professor Bergman in Berlin operated Lesya’s sick joint of right foot. The operation went well; however, Lesya’s hopes for complete convalescence did not come true...

The second collection of poetry of Lesya Ukrainka "Thoughts and Dreams» was published in autumn of 1899 in Lviv. The poetic cycles  "Melodies", “Songs of Slaves", "Responses", "From Hopeless Years", "Crimean Responses", poems the "Old Fairy-Tale" and "Robert Bruce, king of Scotland" were included into the book..

At the end of XIX century Lesya Ukrainka began to work in the genre of drama. The first drama «Blue Rose» she wrote in 1896. Dramatic poem "Oderzhyma" ("The Possessed") she wrote in one night in January 1901 in Minsk at the bedside of hopeless sick Serhiy Merzhynsky.  After her friend’s death, which happened on March 3, 1901, Lesya moved to Bukovyna. She, probably felt intuitionally, that new, strong impressions would help to overcome grief, renew her life strength. In Chernivtsi a writer Olga Kobilyanska, with whom Lesya Ukrainka had good friendly relations, was expecting her. Later Klyment Kvitka joint Lesya in her trips to the Carpathians. In 1907 she married him. 

Meantime  the “war of thirty years".with illness required new victims: a process spreaded on lungs. Two years in succession (1902–1903) Lesya  went for treatment  to Italy,  she also consulted with swiss doctors.

         In April 1902 in Chernivtsy the third collection of poetries of Lesya Ukrainka — "Reviews" was published. It included poetic cycles of "Songs of Slaves", "Rhythms", "Minutes", "Legends", a dramatic poem «The Possessed".

         The same year a book “The children’s games, songs and fairy-tales from Kovel'schyna, Luschyna and Zvyagel'schyna in Volyn’. Collected by L.Kosach. Voice was written down by K.Kvitka". Kiev edition of collection of poetry "On the Wings of Songs" was prepared for publishing (with considerable concessions to censorship it was published in 1904).  Beginning from that time, most works of Lesya Ukrainka first printed appeared on the pages of journal "Literary and Scientific Bulletin«.

         In 1907  Lesya married K. Kvitka.. The married couple at first settled in the Crimea, then moved to Georgia, where Kvitka received an appointment to (by  speciality he was a lawyer, although he was  a musicologist by vocation ).

          Lesya’s physical state was getting worse. From 1908 she knew already, that tuberculosis spreaded over on kidneys. Three journeys (1909–1913) to Egypt for treatment did not help. The illness was winning a victory over the body... But a spirit of Lesya Ukrainka was invincible. Luring the last ten years of her life a Word of poetess achieved perfection and philosophical depth. She had created the entire new world, name to which was dramaturgy of Lesya Ukrainka.. "Cassandra", "In the Dense Forest", "Orgy", "Rufen and Pryscylla","Attorney Martian", "Babylonian Captivity", "Stone Lord", "Forest Song" —   it is the entire world  that expects a deserving stage embodiment and comprehension.      

         In August 1, 1913 the earthly way of Lesya Ukrainka was completed. 1871–1913... So few short years... However, life of a Poet does not fit the frames of the real time and real events.

          The most important, most faithful evidences about Lesya Ukrainka are to be search in her poetries and dramas.

         The subjects of earthly life of poetess are only the signs of waysides, which specify direction, mark the landmarks of way which we go — way of cognition.


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