people · Uncategorized · writer

Lesya’s words


I came across 16 chapters capturing the essence of “How to be brave like the Ukrainian?” And as I finished reading through all of them. I was in awe of their history and the business arena it is. I came across a poem written by Lesya Ukrainka. Here is more information on her followed by the poem.

Lesya Ukrainka is a well-known Ukrainian writer, translator, folklorist, and cultural figure, who is certainly an example of bravery and strength of spirit. She is considered one of the first feminists in Ukraine because she believed that a woman has the right to privacy and dispose of her body and money. That’s how she lived, and that’s why there is a type of a completely new woman in her texts – an individualist woman. The one who decides her destiny. At the beginning of the ХХ century, these were very relevant and controversial issues in the European world, which the writer openly raised in her work.

Read this poem, written in 1890 during an exacerbation of the disease (Lesya Ukrainka was suffering from tuberculosis of the bones and joints). The poem’s title, “Contra spem spero!” is an example of an oxymoron – a paradoxical expression with a subtle insight into the specifics of Latin word usage, taken from the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans (4:18). From Latin, this expression means “Hope against hope!”.

Thoughts away, you heavy clouds of autumn!
For now springtime comes, agleam with gold!
Shall thus in grief and wailing for ill-fortune
All the tale of my young years be told?

No, I want to smile through tears and weeping.,
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I want to live! You thoughts of grief, away!

On poor sad fallow land unused to tilling
I’ll sow blossoms, brilliant in hue,
I’ll sow blossoms where the frost lies, chilling,
I’ll pour bitter tears on them as due.

And those burning tears shall melt, dissolving
All that mighty crust of ice away.
Maybe blossoms will come up, unfolding
Singing springtime too for me, some day.

Up the flinty steep and craggy mountain
A weighty ponderous boulder I shall raise,
And bearing this dread burden, a resounding
Song I’ll sing, a song of joyous praise.

In the long dark ever-viewless night-time
Not one instant shall I close my eyes,
I’ll seek ever for the star to guide me,
She that reigns bright mistress of dark skies.

Yes, I’ll smile, indeed, through tears and weeping
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I shall live! You thoughts of grief, away!

Here is the link


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