Taras Shevchenko was born in the village of Moryntsi into the family of Hrygoriy and Kateryna Shevchenko. A year later , Shevchenko’s parents moved to the village Kyrylivka. There Taras heard for the first time the heroic story about the Haidamaks from his grandfather. Later he immortalized his recollections in his poem “ The Haidamaks ”.
After his mother’s death his father married again but Shevchenko’s stepmother failed to bring any kindness into his home.
Soon Taras was sent to a townman Hubsky for schooling. Learning came easily to him and he quickly worked his way throught the primer, but the teacher was cruel and time again little Taras ran away from his teacher.
Having the strongest desire to draw he tried to find the teacher and this dream lead him to the landowner Engelgard. After some ears master Engelgard took Taras to Petesburg where Shevchenko’s talent was noticed and Karl Bryulov bought him out of serfdom. In Petesburg Taras was a student at the Academy of Arts, drew many beautiful pictures but his second and real calling was poetry.
He wrote much and soon in 1840 he published his first and greatest book “ Kobzar ”. In 1844 for his satirical poem “ A Dream” Shevchenko was exiled to the Kazakh steppes for ten years with the prohibition of writing and painting. These were hard years for Shevchenko he suffered much. And only in 1857 his friends helped him to return to Petersburg to continue to paint and write.
But certaninly the most distinguishing, which clevates Shevchenko to the heights of a world genius is his talent. Yes he loved Ukraine above all:
My poor Ukraine, I love her so
That for her sake I’d l’en curse God
And damn my soul.
He saw his people as part of a new free family of all the nations of the world equal among the equal.
Taras Shevchenko died on March 10, 1861 at the age of 47. Taras Shevchenko never lived in the past but always in the present and future. He sparkled so brightly it seemed no vista of years coud dim him. Shevchenko just like many famous people started to live only after his death.