Existential motifs in poetic works of Kost Shyshko

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Iryna Vasylivna Nazaruk


Introduction. In the late 19th – early 20th century features of existentialism could be traced in the artistic legacy of V. Vynnychenko and Lesya Ukrainka. The idea of existentialism also clearly manifested itself in the 20-ies of the 20th century in the works of V. Pidmohylny, later – in the prose of I. Bahrianyi, V. Barka, T. Osmachka, the poetry of the "New York group" representatives, and in Vasyl Stus lyrics. It is important to note that existential motifs are also commonly found in the works of Volyn poet, a member of the Ukrainian Sixtiers' – Kost Shyshko.

Purpose. Identify the key motifs based on the existentialist worldview of the lyrical hero.

Results. While analyzing the poetic legacy of the artist, it has been found that the most frequently depicted motifs in the works include solitude and search for one’s own place in society. The realities of the sixties forced an abandoned individual to build his own microcosm, where he had to exist against his own will. Nonetheless, despite the difficult fate, Kost Shyshko, never renounced his life principles. Love for the motherland, affection towards a long dreamed happy future for the people were the most important things to him. However, his life at that time turned chock full of pain and suffering for his native Ukraine. It is known that philosophy of existentialism suggests creativity, rebellion and death as the ways to isolate the individual from the absurdity of the world. And for Kost Shyshko poetry becomes the rescue. His rebelliousness revealed itself in aloofness from contemporary reality by means of poetry, which shows that he never backed out from his principles and ideas. The motif of death in his poetry manifests itself not in terrible anticipation of the end of human existence on earth, but only marks a logical conclusion, a transition from one dimension to another. Thus, poetic works of the artist describe life and death in a close relationship and are seen as integral parts of each other.


Conclusion. While researching poetic works of Kost Shyshko, it was established that existentialist worldview of the artist is strongly represented by such motifs as solitude, aloofness, human search for their place in the world as well as motifs of life and death. His verses depict the image of an individual in controversial circumstances. Therefore, the lyrical hero is constantly in a state of deep introspection trying to understand his life purpose and find a way out of loneliness. However, due to being alone, the artist frees the mind from excess rationalism and realizes the real truth of existence – to become everliving for future generations, become an example of a morally stable person and learn to recognize the fundamental essence of things. It was found that an important role in the creation of existential aesthetics in poetic heritage was played by well-chosen imagery, metaphors, similes, rhetorical questions, coloristics which were aimed at a deeper expression of the content of a motif.

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