Sometimes nations immortalize their poets. But there are poets who can also immortalize a nation and its people! Such is the case of our Kobzar.
He wasn’t just “one of the greats.” Shevchenko is forever inscribed in the genotype of Ukraine, he is its integral part…
Taras’s poem are like the colors of an embroidered shirt, like the Dnipro rapids or the path by the parental house.
Archetype and guardian, “the conscience and the law”- Lina Kostenko aptly called him.
Shevchenko isn’t just a poet worth remembering. He belongs to the present as much as to history. He is a prophet of direct action whose poems are timeless. He calls you to battle instead of just mentioning it, he forces you to go and do instead of just telling a story.
On his anniversary, I remember those first attempts at democratic protest in Taras Shevchenko Park by Kyiv university. Without exaggeration, he was then a major participant of those events – invisibly present among the people. Even those who came out of curiosity, “just to have a look,” once they heard the words of his great “Testament” wanted to “break the chains” and fight for freedom and independence…
Shevchenko is important to us, he is dear to us. Especially today, when our state, our people are waging a sacred and righteous battle for the freedom and will of independent Ukraine!
I know that a people who have in their arsenal such poetry and greatness will never be conquered, will never be defeated, and will never be indifferent!
From my heart, I congratulate you, Ukraine, on this holiday!