Kupala, Yanka

Kupala, Yanka (Купала, Янка; pen name of Іван Луцевіч; Ivan Lutsevich), b 7 July 1882 in Viazynka, Vileika county, Belarus, d 28 June 1942 in Moscow. Noted Belarusian poet; full member of the Academy of Sciences of the Belarusian SSR and of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences from 1929. His prerevolutionary poetry focused on the social and national oppression of the Belarusians. The influence of Taras Shevchenko on his poetry is evident in the poem ‘Bandaroŭna’ (The Cooper’s Daughter, 1913). After the Revolution of 1917, particularly in the 1930s, he wrote in the socialist-realist style. He also translated the Kyivan Rus’ epic Slovo o polku Ihorevi (The Tale of Ihor’s Campaign) and over a dozen of Shevchenko’s long poems into Belarusian. He was arrested in 1930 and unsuccessfully attempted suicide; he later tried again and succeeded. Books of his selected poetry were translated into Ukrainian and published in 1937, 1947, 1953, and 1967.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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