MainInformation resourcesElectronic informational resourcesResources of the National Library of BelarusVirtual projects, exhibitions and collectionsLibrary virtual projectsClassics of world literature Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas: a virtual projectReading Kupala and Kolas togetherThe Great Patriotic WarThe theme of the Great Patriotic War in Yanka Kupala’s works
The theme of the Great Patriotic War in Yanka Kupala’s works

The theme of the Great Patriotic War in Yanka Kupala’s works

In literature the Great Patriotic War was initially shown in heroic point of view. Later literature paid attention to its tragic character, complexity, wanted a greater truth in its interpretation. At present World War II is described mostly as a common devastation of the earth and human souls.

Literary and artistic works of almost all the masters of a word who wrote during the war in both Belarusian and neighboring literatures began with poems of praise and recruiting caracter. Poets came to the genre of epistles, proclamations and poetic appeals ("Беларускім партызанам" (To Belarusian Partisans), "Зноў будзем шчасце мець і волю" (We Shall Get Happiness and Freedom Back) Yanka Kupala; "Маскве" (To Moscow), "Бацьку Мінаю" (To Father Minai), "Байцам і камандзірам Чырвонай Арміі" (To Solders and Commander of the Red Army), "Помсці!" (Take Ravange!) Yakub Kolas and others).

The glorification of his native land and people in the above-mentioned works occurred as a frank pathos, "direct", often publicistic expose of the conquerors, whose portraits were given in grotesque form and as a poster. Works of satirical exposing and praise character which printed on the front pages of periodicals were aimed at maintaining in a person the spirit of patriotism and a sense of hatred against invaders.

These motives can be seen in not big Yanka Kupala’s poetic heritage (from the beginning of the war to his tragic death in Moscow the poet wrote 7 poems). As a classic of national literature he addressed to the sons of his native Belarus with strong appeals to beat the enemy, predicted the defeat of the fascist army, claimed the idea about invincibility of the army and people.

These works are characterized by the combination of two opposite meanings – love, hate, traditional vivid symbolism, lyrical tone, romantic sharpness and sublimity of style. Kupala used satirical, grotesque devices, even vulgarism to create a portrait of the invaders. Many words, phrases and definitions of the poem "To Belarusian Partisans" from the poet, who is an intellectual and esthete, sound unusual and grate on readers’ ear.

The poet revealed a brutal nature of fascism and repulsive image of his creator in the poem "Grabezhnіk" ("The Robber"). In order to achieve an artistic effect the poet made the narration dark and terrible. This work is almost bleeding.

In the poem "The Robber" a category of space is shown in a horizontal slice of the scene of action – the countries of Europe, captured by Hitler’s army: Poland, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Belgium and Holland. At the same time, the war for Yanka Kupala was a personal misfortune, inseparable from the grief of Belarus, which caused the wounds and anxieties of the poet’s soul.

Poems about the war:


  1. Дзямко, В. Вялікая Айчынная вайна ў творчасці Янкі Купалы і Аркадзя Моркаўкі / Вольга Дзямко // Мастацкі свет Янкі Купалы: класічна-анталагічнае і непаўторна-індывідуальнае : VIII Міжнар. Купалаўскія чытанні – навук. канф., Мінск, 26–27 чэрв. 2007 г. : да 125-годдзя з дня нараджэння Янкі Купалы / [уклад. А. У. Бурбоўская ; рэдкал.: В. П. Рагойша і інш. – Мінск, 2009. – С. 48–51.