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Natalia Arsenieva Edit Profile


Natalia Arsenieva was an eminent Belarusian poetess, translator, playwright and libretto writer. She wrote outside of her native country but is considered to be a classic of Belarusian literature. The best examples of her landscape lyrics are evaluated as high as masterpieces of M. Bogdanovich and Y.Kupala.


Natalia Arsenieva's family is distantly related to Mikhail Lermontov's (famous Russian poet of the 19th century).

In 1922 she had to leave Vilnia and accompany her husband to Poland, the place of his military service. In 1940 Arsenieva, with her two sons, left Poland for Belarus but was shortly after arrested by the NKVD and deported to Kazakhstan. After the outbreak of the WWII, she moved to Minsk where she stayed until June 1944 when, with the approach of Soviet troops, the Kushals were evacuated to Western Germany. Later, in 1950, Arsenieva emigrated to the United States of America where she lived until her last days.


She was educated in Vilnia but her higher education was interrupted when she married a well-known Belarusian military and civic leader, Frantsishak Kushal.


Her first verses appeared in 1920 in Vilnia, the cradle of Belarusian history, with the support and encouragement of Maksim Haretski, an noted writer, literary critic and historian of Belarusian literature. In 1927 her first collection of verses Under the Blue Skies was published. While living in, the then occupied by fascists, Minsk, Arsennieva wrote and published a lot to help and contribute to the Belarusian culture, which was suffering from pressures on both its Eastern and Western boarders.

Without being directed by the ideas of socialist realism, unlike the rest of Belarusian literature in the BSSR, in her poetry Arsenneva praised pure beauty, the wonders of nature, love and her native country.