Vasyl Chumak was born on January 7, 1901 in the town of Ichnya, to a peasant family. As a classical school student, he was distinguished from others by his sense of national pride. He spoke only Ukrainian at lessons and examinations, a challege to the established order.
He started to write at an early age, but his early works have been lost. We have no poems by Chumak written before 1915, though his friends recollected that he has written many poems dedicated to the Sich and the heroic struggle of Ukrainian Cossacks against the Turks and Tatars.
Vasyl Chumak supported the February revolution of 1917. He worked with the Prosvita Society. In one of his letters he wrote: "We are young, we must serve our people. We shall pave our way boldly and openly..." In the winter of 1917 he went to Horodnya (Chernihiv region), and there he came into contact with the Ukrainian party of Socialist Revolutionaries. In September of 1918 he went to Kharkiv to make contacts with Hnat Mikchailychenko who was one of the leaders of the Party of Borotbisty. Denikin's men tourtured him to death on November 21, 1919, in Kyiv, though before he riched the age of nineteen.
Vasil Chumak was a poet whose national love coincided with the revolu tionary events in Ukraine. He was a poet whose life was short but many events. His poems were full of revolutionary romanticism, world renovation, and a diversity of thoughts and feelings.
The roots of Ukrainian culture lie deep in the history of the nation. Having gone through centuries of hard and sometimes tragic developments, it is still alive in the hearts of people, in their customs, traditions and folklore. It is also truthfully reflected in the works of literature and art based on the best national traditions.
Ukrainian literature is extremely rich in poets and writers. The best of them drew inspiration not from the picturesque nature of Ukraine, but also from the heroic history of the people, and from its customs and national traditions.
Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka, and Vasyl Stefanyc are dear to us because their literary works, apart from being highly artistic, carry the message of humanism and love for our native land.