Poltava cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons



Poltava (Russian: «Полтава») is a narrative poem written by Aleksandr Pushkin in 1828-9 about the involvement of the Ukrainian Cossack hetman Ivan Mazepa in the 1709 Battle of Poltava between Sweden and Russia. The poem intertwines a love plot between Mazepa and Maria with an account of Mazepa's betrayal of Tsar Peter I and Peter's victory in battle. Although often considered one of Pushkin's lesser works and critiqued as unabashedly imperialistic, a number of critics have praised the poem for its depth of characterization and its ability to synthesize disparate genres. The poem inspired Tchaikovsky's 1884 opera Mazeppa.
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original title: Полтава
language: Russian
date of publication: 1828
genre: narrative poetry
main subject: Battle of Poltava

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