Aleksandr Yashin, Poetry and Life

Yashin, whose real name was Aleksandr Yakovlevich Popov was born on the 27 of March in 1913 to a small family of peasants in a little village of Bludnovo.

In 1931 he finished school in the city of Nikolsk, he participated in his village, read a lot of books, and wrote a lot of poems. He began working in the gazettes of Vologod and Archengel, and his works began showing up around 1928. The first collection of his poetry Poems of the North came out in 1934 in Archengel.

From 1935 he lived in Moscow, where in 1938 he published a book of poems Severyanka, (a literal translation would be A Girl From The North). In 1941 he graduated from the Institute of Literature of M. Gorky.

During the Great Patriotic War he joined the Red Army as a volunteer. There he witnessed the gruesome blockade of Leningrad and the war in Stalingrad. He also witnessed the emancipation of Krim. In 1942-43 two collections of his poems came out, This Was At The Baltic, and City of Hate.

Yashin, probably in Siberia.

After the war he traveled all over the country, especially to Siberia, Altai, and other places. His views on his travels was published in a collection of poems Trench Hole (1946), A Soviet Person (1951), and in the long-poem “Alyona Fomina” (1949).

In the 1960s came out the collections Barefoot On Earth, Day of Creation, and Insomnia.

His prose includes marvelous stories such as “Orphan” (1962), and “A Vologod Marriage”.

Yashin died on the 11 of June in Moscow. He is buried in Bludnov.

What is important about Yashin and his style is that it represented a new kind of more liberated poetry. He came from a peasant people, he represented Russia and what it believed. He was Russian in and out. His poetry is drenched in nostalgia, hopelessness, sorrow, and a deep thirst for some other beautiful life. His poetry is attractive in its clear representation of the authors feelings.

Lyrical Discomfort

Something bothers
to work with the hunt.
There’s still not
enough of something in life.

In day one can’t sit,
in night one can’t sleep . . .
Upon something big
one must decide!

To quarrel with someone?
To leave something?
Or to settle down
at the pole for a year?

Maybe, fall in love?
O, just to fall in love!
Then something
must happen in life.

Just to fall in love,
like in school long ago,
like it was possible
in seventh
and tenth
To full loss of hearing,
to full loss of seeing,
to total stupidity,
to total enlightenment!

Again to stand
in the cold for hours,
again to write
notes in poems.Maybe in all these
naive little notes
all of a sudden
God’s spark will be found.
And all my revelations
will turn into
the best

Translated from the anthology:60 let sovetskoj poezii.
Sobranie stihov v cheyreh tomah.
Moskva, “Hudozhestvennaja Literatura”. 1977.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What we're up to ...

Litkicks is 26 years old! This website has been on a long and wonderful journey since 1994. We’re relaunching the whole site on a new platform in June 2021, and will have more updates soon. We’ve also been busy producing a couple of podcasts – please check them out.

World BEYOND War: A New Podcast
Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera

Explore related articles ...