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Bohdan Ihor Antonych (1909 – 1937) was one of the greatest Ukrainian poets of the 20th century. He was born in the western part of Ukraine (the region of the Carpathian mountains) which has always been influenced by Poland. The influence went that far actually that Antonych wasn't so good at Ukrainian as a teenager and was often mistaken for a Pole due to his accent.

Antonych's father was a village priest Vasiliy Kit ('kit' means 'cat' in Ukrainian). He had changed his surname for Antonych some time before his son was born.

In 1914 the family moved and faced many troubles. In 1919 Bogdan and his mother (his father had been arrested by the Polish government) went to live at his uncle's place in western Ukraine.

Bogdan was quite a weak child. He was tutored by a private teacher and then at the age of 11 he began to attend a Polish school (there were no Ukrainian schools in the vicinity). Antonych appeared to be quite a good student, doing well in Greek and Latin. There he learned to play the violin which he later called 'a tree of music'. He even engaged himself into composing some plays for the violin which gained popularity among his fellow students.


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