More then anyone else of their time, Siamanto and Varoujan verbalized the hopes of the Armenians at the turn of the century. Using legends, old epics, and pagan history at the springboard and allegory for their aspirations, they waited for deliverance from oppression and the rebirth in Armenian arts. Varoujan had seen a great many wrongs in his young life. When he was a boy, his father had been falsely accused and jailed in Istanbul, during the 1896 Turkish massacres. After Varoujan’s schooling in Istanbul he studied in Venice and then at the University of Chent in Belgium.
He taught, first in his native village near Sebastia, then in Istanbul as headmaster of an Armenian school. His firs book of poems, The Trembling, appeared in 1906. It was followed by The Heart of a Nation (1909), Pagan Songs (1912), and, after his death in 1915, Songs of Bread (1921).
Varoujan was among the first intellectual rounded up by the Turks before the 1915 massacre of the Armenian population, and was only 31 when he was murdered. Varoujan’s work contains some of the richest, most sensual imagery in Armenian literature.