Todos Osmachka’s Poetry in the European Literary and Fine Arts Context

Keywords: literary text, juxtaposition, existentially dialogical interpretation, literature and painting, European context, philosophical meaning, style.


The article is dedicated to the poetry of the Ukrainian poet of the XX century Todos Osmachka. Todos Osmachka’s poetry is a multifaceted artistic phenomenon. The researcher aims to compare artistic texts with other works of literature and art. The object of the study is the book Fringe of time,
which was written between 1943 and 1948. The poet was in exile, so the poems express alienation, loneliness and nostalgia. The style of the poems is
characterized by expressionism and surrealism. The meanings of Todos Osmachka’s poetry are consistent with existential philosophy.

For comparison, the researcher used Erich Maria Remarque’s novel Love Thy Neighbour, Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven, Edvard Munch’s picture The Scream, Vincent van Gogh’s picture Wheatfield with Crows, Irving Stone’s novel Lust for Life. These works were used as parallels to the content
and style of Todos Osmachka’s poetry.

In T. Osmachka’s lyrics, the artistic world is filled with contrasting images. Poetic language is a cry of despair, it is associated with the Edvard Munch’s picture The Scream. The loneliness of man, the despair, alienation of the environment are inherent in both Osmachka’s poetry and Munch’s painting.

An existential approach to depressing the lives of emigrants has been observed in the poetry book Fringe of time by T. Osmachka, and the Erich Maria Remarque’s novel Love Thy Neighbour. The authors’ attention is focused on depicting a homeless person. The expat is abandoned in the cruel and indifferent world where he is redundant. The heroes of the works seek to preserve themselves both physically and morally.

The imaginative vision of the world through the emotional state of the artist is inherent in T. Osmachka and V. van Gogh. In figurative terms there is much in common in the poem Blue gloom by T. Osmachka and the Vincent van Gogh’s picture Wheatfield with Crows. The images are sinister, catastrophic, hopeless, dynamic. In the novel Lust for Life, I. Stone told about the state of the artist who had a fate similar to T. Osmachka’s. Loneliness, wanderings, and mental illness affected the imagery of the works.

The Osmachka’s poem Widow contains an epigraph from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven. The dream of returning love is impossible. «Nevermore» did the crow shout in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, alluding to the crow’s voice near the widow’s house in T. Osmachka’s poem.

The existential-dialogical interpretation of T. Osmachka’s poems in dialogue with Western European works of literature and fine arts helps to understand the poet’s philosophy and style. Ukrainian national culture naturally falls within the pan-European context.


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Author Biography

Hanna Tokman, Pereiaslav-Khmelnytsky Hryhorii Skovoroda State Pedagogical University

Doctor in Pedagogics,

How to Cite
Tokman, H. (2020). Todos Osmachka’s Poetry in the European Literary and Fine Arts Context. Theoretical and Didactic Philology, (32), 143-150. Retrieved from