Who was Lesya Ukrainka?

Who was Lesya Ukrainka?

The poetess Lesya Ukrainka, who is called to be the brilliant daughter of the Ukrainian people, the beauty and pride of the nation, the spiritual leader of the Ukrainian intelligence, was born on February 25, 1871 in Novograd-Volynsky (Western Ukraine) under the name of Larisa Kosach.

Her mother – Olena Pchilka – was a writer and an active participant in the pro-Ukrainian movement.

Lesya had a lot of talents even in yearly childhood. Lesya Ukrainka learned how to read at four years old, at 5 y.o. – how to play the piano, and at 8 y.o. – began to write poetry. At 12 y.o. she was already published in literature magazines.

At the same time, she became ill with tuberculosis of the bones, and had to leave music.

She had studied 11 languages by herself, including Latin and Greek. Lesya Ukrainka translated works by Homer, Hugo, Byron, Heine, and Shakespeare. She has written more than 100 poems and 20 dramas.

Lesya Ukrainka’s main sources of creativity were her own experiences. Thanks to them, the works of Ukrainian poetry have appeared extremely beautiful in their depth of lyricism, spiritual drama and psychologism.

Lesya Ukrainka became the largest collector of the Ukrainian folklore, and knew about 500 folk songs.

In the modern Ukrainian tradition Lesya Ukrainka is included in the list of the most famous women of ancient and modern Ukraine. Most of her works have been published abroad in Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna.  “Mavka. Forest Song” – is her most famouse and popular work.

Death caught up Ukrainian poetess at the age of 42 in Georgia on July 19, 1913. Lesya Ukrainka was buried in the Baykovo cemetery in Kyiv.

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