Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I took particular interest in researching Lesia Ukrainka and her role in perpetuating the Ukrainian Renaissance when the nation was so distinctly divided between the Russian and Austrian territories, as we discussed in class on Monday.  Not only was she immensely talented, but she also represents strength as a Ukrainian citizen in a differing way than did the Cossacks.  She was a brilliant writer, politically involved, and she accomplished all of this while suffering from tuberculosis.
Lesia Ukrainka was one of Ukraine's most renowned poets and the leading woman writer in Ukrainian literature.  Her mother, Olha Drahomanova-Kosach, was a Ukrainian writer and publisher, and her father, Petro Antonovych, was remarkably involved in advancing Ukrainian culture and was vastly invested in the Ukrainian publishing ventures.  Contrary to what was custom at the time, Ukrainka's family enforced only Ukrainian language in their home and even hired tutors in an effort to circumvent the schools that taught Russian as the primary language.  Her family was very much involved in Ukrainian identity and the resistance of Russian influence.  She first became involved in writing when she was eight years old when she wrote her first poem entitled "Hope." It was written in reflection of a family member who was arrested and exiled for participating in a political movement.  When she was thirteen, her poem, "Lily of the Valley" was published in a journal in Lviv.  After that, her career as a writer and political activist took off.  In 1893, her first collection of poetry was published in Western Ukraine because the Russian Empire banned Ukrainian publications.  Her works were smuggled into Kiev.   While she loved to experience other cultures, her most famous pieces were reflective of Ukrainian history, mythology, and folklore.  
I found her to be a very interesting figure in Ukrainian history because she took such bold strides in the struggle against the Russian oppressors and has clearly made an impact in Ukrainian culture.  She represents strength to people everywhere, especially women, and also provides a great example of a role model for people who may be in need of inspiration to fight against an oppressive body.  


1 comment:

petersds said...

I enjoyed this piece a lot. The information you provided was interesting. I agree that she represents strong women!