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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"Yes, I am Alive! And I Shall Live Forever!" -- Lesya Ukrainka, revolutionary poet and writer

Triumphant and solemn, the flash of predawn light

Has pierced through the gloom of the night

Still asleep are the rays of the sun --

Though the predawn light burns on,

A torch that the workers ignite

Arise, all the living who think of rebellion!

The hour has come and work to be done!

Fear not the predawn gloom of night --

But kindle the flame of predawn light

Long before the dawn sees the risen sun!

- Lesya Ukrainka, 1892

Lesya Ukrainka is a famous Ukrainian writer and poet who was also a revolutionary Marxist. She translated the Communist Manifesto into Ukrainian in 1902 and was arrested by the czarist police for a time in 1907. She died on August 1, 1913, just four years before the revolution, at the young age of 42. During the Soviet period she was elevated from relative obscurity to being seen as a hero and role model.

This booklet was published in the USSR in 1973 to mark the erection of a monument in her honour by the people of Kiev.The monument was placed on a boulevard that was also named for her.

The booklet contains the text of several speeches about her and her influence given at a ceremony unveiling the monument. It also has an overview of her life and numerous photos of statues and assemblies related to her across the Soviet Union at various points.

Lesya Ukrainka Square, Kiev

Ceremonial Meeting held by Kiev's working people dedicated to the unveiling of the monument

Monument to Lesya Ukrainka in Kiev

Halina Kalchenko, author of numerous sculptures and monuments to the immortal poetess

Sculpture and bust of Lesya Ukrainka in the village of Kolodyazhne, Volyn Region

Near the Lesya Ukrainka House-Museum in Novograd-Volynsky, Zhitomir Region

Memorial Stele in the town of Hadyach

Meeting at the Monument to Lesya Ukrainka in Surami, Georgian SSR

Monument to Lesya Ukrainka in Batumi, Georgian SSR

Meeting at the Baikove Cemetery in Kiev, where Lesya Ukrainka lies buried

Ceremonial meeting dedicated to Lesya Ukrainka's birth centennial held at Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, on March 1, 1871

Memorial Medallion issued to mark the centenary of her birth

Ceremonial meeting in Novograd-Volynsky on the occasion of her centennial jubilee

At the Republican Art Exhibition dedicated to her birth centennial, Kiev

The State Lesya Ukrainka Literary Memorial Museum, Kiev

The State Merited Dumka Capella of the Ukrainian SSR

Works about her and her life in the various languages of the USSR

Statue in the First of May Park, Kiev

Medal award for the winner of the Lesya Ukrainka Literary Prize

(This post appeared on the original The Left Chapter blog in 2018)



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