Yanka Kupala — was the pen name of Ivan Daminikavich Lutsevich, a Belarusian poet and writer. Kupala is considered one of the greatest Belarusian-language writers of the 20th century.
Kupala was born on July 7, 1882 in Viazynka, a folwark settlement near Maladzyechna. His family was of Szlachta origins. Kupala received a traditional Belarusian education, completing his studies in 1898.
Kupala's first serious literary attempt was "Ziarno", a Polish-language sentimental poem which he completed around 1903-1904 under the pseudonym "K-a." His first Belarusian-language work ("Мая доля") was dated July 15, 1904. Kupala's first published poem, "Мужык" ("Peasant"), was published approximately a year later, appearing in Belarusian in the Russophone Belarusian newspaper "Severo-Zapadnyi Krai" (Northwestern Krai) on 11 May 1905. A number of subsequent poems by Kupala appeared in the Belarusian-language newspaper "Nasha Niva" from 1906 to 1907.
He died after falling down a flight of stairs in Moscow (1942); some speculate that he was actually murdered. His widow helped to establish a literary museum in Belarus.
I will pray with the heart and thoughts
I will pray with my soul
For the black problems, and a blizzard
Chorus: I pray to heaven, earth and space
I pray to to Almighty God and the Universe
In any situation and at any time
For the native people of Belarus.
From forebears' ages, long since gone,
A heritage has come to me,
Among strange folk, among my own,
Me it caresses, motherly.
Of it to me dream-fables sing
Of first thaw-patches, vernally,
The woods' September murmuring,
An oak-tree lone, half burned away.