Vasyl Simonenko (1935-1963)

Vasyl Simonenko is one of the greatest and most popular Ukrainian poets. He was born on the 8th of January 1935 in the village of Byivtsy in Poltavskaya region. His father died very early, so his childhood was rather difficult. He studied at school very well and in 1952 he entered Kyiv University at the department of journalism. Vasyl began to write his poems when he was studying at the University, but the first book of poems “Silence and Thunder” appeared only in 1962. It was a period of the Ukrainian poetry revival. Vasyl’s first book of poetry proved the fact that the new name which was worth attention of contemporaries appeared.

In 1957 graduated from the University Simonenko went to Cherkassy to work as a correspondent of the local newspaper. Vasyl wrote not only the articles, but also poems. That time he was engaged in translating Hungarian poets.

Simonenko’s world of poetry reflects his sympathy and respect for the Ukrainian people. His style of writing attracts attention of many readers, because his poetry differs from the poetry of other poets due to his own attitude to the events surrounding him.

In spite of deserved recognition, Vasyl was threaten and beaten in the street many times. These events exhausted the poet’s health and at the age of 28 he died.

Some collections of poetry, short stories and tales for children were-published after the poet’s death. The best poems written by Vasyl Simonenko will always remain treasures of Ukrainian poetry, expressing a direct, courageous, and heroic attitude toward life.

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Vasyl Simonenko (1935-1963)