soviet poet

Joseph Brodsky: Last Morning in the USSR, 1972. 

Brodsky with the help of his American friends escaped for USA in 1972 and never returned back.  It seemed that he never had regrets about that - at home he was subjected to repressions and was promised for more if he would not express emigrate. Twice he was put to mental institutions, charged with social parasitism in 1964 and sentenced and sentenced for that to 5 years (though he spent only 18 month of the term due to the protests of the prominent cultural workers).

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Vladimir Vysotsky (1938 - 1980) is more famous as author-performer, although being a poet and actor. He was very popular despite some restraints and gathered a lot of people on his concerts.  True fame and recognition came after his death. His songs broached everyday and war problem. His style is often recognized as bard though he never considered himself so. He had his own manner of performing songs: with strain and intoning. His image became a symbol of the late Soviet epoch. 

That winter death looked straight into our eyes and stared long, without faltering. It wanted to hypnotise us, like a boa constrictor hypnotises its intended victim, stripping him of his will and subjugating him. But those who sent us so much death miscalculated. They underestimated our voracious hunger for life.
—  Poet Olga Berggolts reflecting on winter of 1942 during the Siege of Leningrad.

Image: Chilean writer and poet Pablo Neruda, after being awarded the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. (STF/AFP/Getty Images)

Back in 2014, archivists were combing through poet Pablo Neruda’s files when they came upon some previously unpublished works. Those writings will soon be released in English in Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda.

One of the newly discovered poems was inspired by a visit to the Soviet Union in the early 1960s. Neruda got to meet Soviet cosmonauts and wrote a poem about space travel. Here’s an excerpt:

It occurs to me
that the light was fresh then,
that an unwinking star
journeyed along
cutting short and linking
distances
their faces unused
to the awesome desolation,
in pure space

‘The Lost Neruda’ Can Now Be Found In 'Then Come Back’