Tetka

Tetka

 

(pen name of Eloiza [Aloiza] Stepanovna Pashkevich). Born July 3 (15), 1876, in the village of Peshchina, in what is now Shchuchin Raion, Grodno Oblast; died Feb. 5 (18), 1916. Byelorussian poet.

The daughter of a peasant, Tetka graduated from courses taught by P. F. Lesgaft in St. Petersburg. She participated in the revolutionary events taking place in Vilnius in 1904–05. Her first poems appeared at that time, in the form of leaflets and proclamations. Late in 1905, Tetka traveled to Galicia to escape repression. In 1906 she published two small poetry collections there, A Baptism for Freedom, under the pen name of Hauryla, and A Byelorussian Violin, under the pen name of Hauryla of Polatsk. The poems in these collections hailed the revolution and called on the people to overturn the autocracy. Tetka’s lofty romantic lyrics were joyful in tone and permeated with folk symbolism. Tetka introduced new lyric genres into Byelorussian poetry, including political hymns, versified exhortations, and revolutionary songs.

In the summer of 1906, Tetka arrived in Vilnius and again joined the revolutionary forces. She helped publish the first legal Byelorussian newspaper, Nasha dolia, whose initial issue printed her first prose work, A Vow Over Bloody Boundaries, a novella that accurately depicted the peasants’ struggle for land and liberty.

Late in life, Tetka published lyric poems and psychological short stories. During World War I (1914–18) she worked as a frontline nurse and conducted revolutionary propaganda among the soldiers. In 1916, during the German occupation, she visited many villages, helping the peasants combat the typhus epidemic. She became infected with the disease, from which she died. Tetka was buried in the village of Novyi Dvor, in the former Lida District, Vil’na (Vilnius) Province, in what is now Shchuchin Raion, Grodno Oblast.

WORKS

V ybranyia tvory. [Introductory article by L. Arabei.] Minsk, 1967.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe [Stikhotvoreniia iproza]. Moscow, 1953.

REFERENCE

Arabei, L. Tsiotka (Alaiza Pashkevich). Minsk, 1956.

V. V. BORISENKO

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