Home » Culture and History

Ukrainian Poem and Songs for Easter

22. April 2011 by Michelle 0 Comments

Many gentlemen know how important the Easter holiday is in countries of the Former Soviet Union. From baking the symbolic breads and cakes to crafting the beautifully decorated pysanky, Ukrainian women have been busy this week and will continue to celebrate throughout the weekend.

 

As they gather with family and friends, many will recite famous Easter poems and sing traditional folk songs for this special occasion.

 

Taras Shevchenko, the great Ukrainian poet, artist, and humanitarian, wrote this poem about Easter as seen through the eyes of a poor orphan. Orphaned himself at a young age, Shevchenko may possibly have been writing about his own experience.

 

Here is the poem translated into English:

 

On Easter Sunday among the straw

Out in the sun the children played

With Easter eggs in colors braw

And each of them loud boasting made

Of gifts received. One, for the feast,

Was given a shirt with sleeves of white;

One with a ribbon had been pleased,

One with a garment, laced and tight;

This boy was given a lambskin cap,

That one a pair of horsehide boots,

And one a jacket to unwrap.

Only one child among their bruits,

An orphan, had no gift of bliss;

Her hands are hidden in her sleeves.

She hears: "My mother bought me this,

My father got me that." (She grieves.)

"My good godmother made a blouse

Embroidered gay with dainty thread."

"The priest has fed me at his house,"

At last the little orphan said.

 

Also, here are a few videos of Ukrainian choirs singing traditional Easter songs.