Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Man...

This is Taras Shevchenko. He's kind of a  big deal. He was a painter, a poet and an advocate for the penniless. He took part in The Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius which promoted the traditional beliefs of brotherhood and loyalty which was against the Russian Empire's point of view... so he was exiled. 

Taras Shevchenko was just about everything... he was involved politically, he painted, he was a play-write, poet, engraver... but these were not necessarily the reasons that he became ingrained in the lively-hood and the national identity of an entire nation. Taras Shevchenko presented and represented Ukraine with all the love in his heart. His art instilled courage, his words created strength and he gave a downtrodden group of people a chance to be proud of their land. 

So, to express this a little better, here is a poem by Shevchenko...

A Reflection
The river empties to the sea,
But out it never flows;
The Cossack lad his fortune seeks,
But never fortune knows.
The Cossack lad has left his home,
He's left his kith and kind;
The blue sea's waters splash and foam,
Sad thoughts disturb his mind:
"Why, heedless, did you go away?
For what did you forsake
Your father old, your mother grey,
Your sweetheart, to their fate?
In foreign lands live foreign folks,
Their ways are not your way:
There will be none to share your woes
Or pass the time of day."
Across the sea, the Cossack rests --
The choppy sea's distraught.
He thought with fortune to be blessed --
Misfortune is his lot.
In vee-formation, 'cross the waves
The cranes are off for home.
The Cossack weeps -- his beaten paths
With weeds are overgrown...
Taras Shevchenko
St. Petersburg, 1838.
Translated by John Weir Toronto

Cossacks were basically 'freedom fighters' of Ukraine and represent the strength of the Ukrainian people.

Moral of the story: Taras Shevchenko was awesome, and still affects people today. 

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