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Rubtsov (Рубцов) Nikolay Mikhailovich
(1936—1971)

Rubtsov (Рубцов) Nikolay Mikhailovich(1936—1971)

The Russian poet Nikolay Rubtsov is one of the most tragic figures in Soviet literature. His place in Russian poetry was compared with those of Alexander Blok and Sergei Yesenin.

Nikolay was born on January 3, 1936 in Vologda. Rubtsov's mother gave birth to six children. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) mother of the future poet and his two sisters passed away. His father got mislaid. Nikolay spent his childhood in a children's home in the settlement of Nikolskoye, Tot'ma District, Vologda Oblast.

Rubtsov rose from humble beginnings and spent his younger days in hard work which, although hardening him both morally and physically, still left Nikolay without proper education. After leaving secondary school in 1950, he studied in a technical school, then another one. But he did not finish any of them. In the ten years he spent out of children's home, Nikolay Rubtsov changed many jobs, worked at factories and served in the navy. As a 23 year-old young man, Rubtsov abandoned his northern hometown of Vologda heading for the great Russian city Leningrad in 1959. There, he immediately became involved in literary life of the city. There Rubtsov's first collection of poems, titled Waves and Rocks, was published.

In 1962 Nikolay entered the Institute of Literature in Moscow. Later he returned to Vologda. His fame rose after a second collection of his work The Star of Fields was published in 1967 in Moscow. All in all three more collections of Rubtsov's poems were released: Lyrics (1965), Saved by Soul (1969), Rustle of Pines (1970).

His poetry was inspired by Russian folklore. Through his collections of poignant poetry about simple life and the meaning of life, he became one of the most popular poets of the day.

Nikolay Rubtsov was a leading representative of "village" poetry. His gloomy, unsociable temper doomed him to live in obscurity, but after his tragic death, neo-Slavophile critics like Vadim Kozhinov proclaimed his poetry to be the embodiment of the Russian national character.

The poet was killed on January 19, 1971 in Vologda. The Russian nation cherishes Nikolay Rubtsov. There are monuments to Rubtsov in Vologda, Tot'ma, Cherepovets and Emetsk. The house in Yashin Street, Vologda City where Nikolay lived and spent the last years of his life, now boasts a memorial plaque.


Russia, 2006.01.03, Vologda. Nikolay Rubtsov

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