“Keep fighting — you are sure to win! God helps you in your fight! For fame and freedom march with you, And right is on your side!”
March 9, 2022, Ukraine celebrates the 208th anniversary of the birth of the famous Ukrainian poet and artist Taras Shevchenko. He is the foremost Ukrainian poet, prose writer, painter, and playwright of the 19th century.
The name of Taras Shevchenko is well-known in the world. It stands together with Goethe, Dante, Cervantes, Byron, or Hugo.
He was more than a poet, artist, or person. For Ukrainians, he became a symbol of struggling for independence. He was a prophet, an unquenchable torch showing the path of Ukrainian ideas and identity on the way to independence. His uncompromising moral stance on violence and aggression, his unrestricted compassion for human suffering, and the beauty of his poetry have guided Ukrainians through many dramatic events in the past and to this day. Now when Russia encroached on Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence once again, his words sound even more powerful:
“…But it does touch me deep if knaves,
Evil rogues lull our Ukraine
Asleep, and only in the flames
Let her, all plundered, wake again…
That touches me with deepest pain”
These lines are from the poem “It Makes No Difference To Me”. It was written in 1847 when Taras Shevchenko was waiting for his sentence while imprisoned in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, for participation in a secret political society.