Ukrainka Lesya

L. Ukrainka

Ukrainka Lesya (1871-1913), Ukrainian poet. Her autonym was Larysa Kosach. She was born in Novograd-Volynsky, Ukraine. She was the daughter of a noted public figure Pyotr Kosach; her mother – Olga Kosach – was a wellknown writer. Given that In childhood she was taken ill with tuberculosis of bones and joints, her parents gave her good home education; she mastered foreign languages and took piano lessons. She underwent medical treatment in the Crimea, Italy, Egypt, Bulgaria. She arrived in Georgia 1903. She spent the last 10 years of her life in Georgia and Egypt. In winter she lived in Egypt with her husband Klyment Kvitka, while she spent other seasons of the year in Georgia (Tbilisi, Batumi, Telavi, Kutaisi, Khoni, Surami). She wrote the drama The Autumn Tale in Tbilisi. Allegedly, L. Ukrainka could speak Georgian. As early as in 1895, Nestor Ghambrashvili, who was studying in Kiev and was renting a room from the Kosach family, taught Georgian alphabet to Lesya and acquainted her with the Man in the Panther’s Skin. Later, in Kutaisi, Silovan Khundadze’s wife used to teach her the Georgian language. Lesya and her husband became friends with the composer Zakaria Paliashvili. In 1911, in Kutaisi, she wrote a poetic drama The Forest Song. In the summer of 1913, desperately ill L. Ukrainka was taken from Kutaisi to Surami, where she died several days later.

L. Ukrainra’s body was transferred to her homeland. She was buried at the Baykov cemetery in Kiev.