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Lesia Ukrainka

Lesia Ukrainka Lesia Ukrainka (Larysa Kosach) was born on February 25,1871 in Novgorod - Volynskyi. Her father knew literature very well. He often read to his children the works by O. Pushkin, T. Shevchenko, M. Gogol, Marko Vovchok and especially satirical stories by Saltykov-Shchedrin. Lesia's elder brother Mykhailo (1869-1903) became a Ukrainian writer

Lesia's mother was a writer known by the literary name Olena Pchilka (1849-1930). Her mother was sister of M. Dragomanov (1841-95) ("Ukrainian"). Many writers, painters, musicians gathered very often in their house. Among them were the poet M. Starytskyi, the composer M. Lysenko, and the famous Ukrainian writer Ivan Franko. From her childhood Lesia heard different discussions about Ukrainian history and literature. At the age of 4 Lesia learned to read and at 9 she wrote her first poem "Hope". When she was 10 the family moved to Kyiv. A home teacher was invited for the children here. Lesia learned to play the piano. She made great success but at the age of 13 she fell ill.

She had to stop her studies and was undergone the operation. At that time the book became her friend and her teacher. She read a lot, studying literature, art, history, geography and foreign languages: French, German, Latin, English, Italian, Polish, and Spanish.

The first poem of the 13-year old girl "Lily of the Valley" was published in Lviv magazine "Zoria" because there were no Ukrainian magazines in Kyiv at that time. She took her literary name Lesia Ukrainka because of her love to Ukraine. In 1888 she lived in Yalta where he created a series of poems "Travelling to the Sea" and "Crimean Memoirs". In spite of the operation her illness progressed, tuberculosis affected her arm. She spent much time in hospitals in Kyiv and abroad. Lesia Ukrainka wrote a lot at that time. Her poems begin to appear in magazines and newspapers.

In 1893-07 her book of poems "On the Wings of Songs", the poem "Old Tale" and drama "Iphigenia in Tauris" were published. The young poetess was fond the poetic works of the great Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. She carried her love to his poetry through her whole life. In 1903-1907 she wrote her dramas "Cassandrať, "Autumn Tale" and "Stone Host" in 1912. The peak of her poetic mastery was the "Sylvan Song" published in 1911 about the struggle between the beauty and the evil. At the beginning of 1913 she returned to her Motherland, Ukraine. It was her last stay in Kyiv. The Ukrainian community organized a ceremonial meeting for the great poetess.

Lesia Ukrainka died on August 1,1913 in Surani (Georgia), where she stayed for treatment and buried in Kyiv.

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