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Lesja Ukrainka

Encyclopedia of the life and works


Lesja Ukrainka and Poland

Nicholas Zharkikh

Lesja Ukrainka (1871 – 1913) – famous Ukrainian poetess, a spokesman for the national liberation struggle of Ukrainian people.

This year we celebrate 140 years since her birth and the 100th anniversary of writing dramatic poem "Lawyer Martian". Also, this year marks 100 years since the writing of fairy drama "Forest Song".

Polish language

Stay in Poland

Plan of translations

Frederic Chopin

Adam Mickiewicz

Mary Konopnicka

Contemporary polish literature

The revolutionary struggle

Poles in the works of Lesja Ukrainka


Lesja Ukrainka was not personally familiar with Polish writers or public figures, but she knew the Polish language and literature, made steps to promote it in Ukraine. Some of her works have distinct connections with the works of Polish writers (Adam Mickiewicz, M. Konopnicka), in other works were given images of Poles in Ukraine.

So, in November 2011 we celebrate (we have to celebrate!) one hundred years of writing dramatic poem "A lawyer Martian". Despite the general acceptance of "Forest Song" as artistic masterpiece we stress that no nation in the world won its independence in such way that showed to occupiers "very old forest" (cut down and sell abroad – find themselves invaders) or defended by "gentian, planted near the threshold". Even "The one who sits in the rock" not afraid of the occupiers, because they do not belong to the people, among which the idea of Sitting-in-rock has regulatory, deterrent effect.

Not Lukash, not Mavka nor uncle Leo tighting and defending national independence – do so passionaries like lawyer Martian, his son Valens and his sister Albina – unbreakable revolutionaries, fighters against tyranny. They lose in this struggle all their relatives, they restrain their truest feelings, they even hesitate – if not more than human force their victims – but eventually win their doubts and continue to run freely undertaken and measured a lifetime obligation of the liberation struggle.

Choosing for her poem story from the life of ancient Rome, Lesja Ukrainka wrote a work universally suitable for all people who go to their national and social liberation, for those seeking a better fate. So in a hundred repetitions of undeniable thesis "Lesja Ukrainka – author of the brilliant Forest Song" is worth at least once to repeat: "Lesja Ukrainka – author of the brilliant Lawyer Martian".

3 – 12 november 2011 in Kyiv