Kobzar (poetry collection)

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Kobzar (Ukrainian: Кобзар, "The bard"), is a book of poems by Ukrainian poet and painter Taras Shevchenko,[1] first published by him in 1840 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Taras Shevchenko was nicknamed The Kobzar after the publishing of this book. From that time on this title has been applied to Shevchenko's poetry in general and acquired a symbolic meaning of the Ukrainian national and literary revival.[2]

The first publication consisted of a collection of eight works: "Думи мої, думи мої, лихо мені з вами"(My thoughts, my thoughts, you are my doom), "Перебендя" (Perebendya), "Катерина" (Kateryna), "Тополя" (Poplar tree), "Думка" (Thought), "Нащо мені чорні брови" (Why should I have Black Eyebrows), "До Основ'яненка" (To Osnovyanenko), "Іван Підкова" (Ivan Pidkova), and "Тарасова ніч" (Taras's night).

The first publication of Kobzar.

The author also published two more books under the same name in 1844 and 1860. Also, in 1844, another version of the original Kobzar, titled Chyhyrynskyi Kobzar, was republished with an addition of the poem "Гайдамаки" (Haydamaky).

Publication of the work was forbidden by the Ems Ukase, which forbade the publishing of Ukrainian-language literature. This prompted the publication of the work in non-Russia-ruled lands, such as in Prague (now in the Czech Republic) and Germany.[2]

Word definition[edit]

Literally, kobzar in Ukrainian means a bard, although not a regular one, but rather the one who along with singing plays on a musical instrument, kobza. In the contemporary Ukrainian the word is being more associated with the famous Ukrainian series of poetic literary works and for which Taras Shevchenko was given the same nickname. Kobza is roughly similar to a guitar.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kobzar." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2011.
  2. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Ukraine