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What poems did Stalin write and why did he not let them be published even in Pasternak's translation?
What poems did Stalin write and why did he not let them be published even in Pasternak's translation?

Young Joseph Dzhugashvili had a serious hobby - he wrote poetry. It is precisely known about six of his poems, which were once appreciated by the best Georgian poet of that time and the editor of the influential Georgian newspaper, Ilya Chavchavadze. He urged Soso not to give up poetry, but he chose the revolution and political activity.

Best poem by Stalin

There was a man in the life of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, about whom he kept fond memories all his life. This is the classic of Georgian literature Ilya Grigorievich Chavchavadze. He called him "the largest figure among Georgian writers of the 19th and early 20th centuries" and once in a conversation with the director Chiaureli remarked: "Is it because we pass by Chavchavadze that he is one of the princes?" And by the way, it was Chavchavadze who selected the best poems of the 16-year-old seminarian Soso Dzhugashvili and published them in the Tiflis literary newspaper Iveria.

This young man with piercing eyes is Joseph Dzhugashvili

The poem of the future leader of the peoples "Morning" in 1912 was included in the textbook of the native language "Dada Ena" and for many years remained a poem that Georgian children were one of the first to memorize.

In 1948, this poem was included in a well-illustrated book, which was published in a circulation of 10,000 copies. The Morning was translated into Russian by Nikolai Dobryukha.

Why Soso Dzhugashvili didn't go to literature

Young Joseph is the future leader of nations

In their youth, many dream of becoming poets. They strive to become famous and published in reputable publications, then they resign themselves to defeat, and in adulthood remember their youthful attempts at writing with a smile. Joseph Dzhugashvili did not dream of poetical recognition. In his youth, his poems were readily published in Georgian magazines and newspapers. But the ambitious Soso chose a different path - the path of a revolutionary.

The 1880s-90s were the time when capitalism was developing rapidly in Russia. People tried to make a profit, made business and money. And Joseph Dzhugashvili, who from childhood knew what need was, understood that the path of a poet is not only fame, it is humiliation and lack of money. And he did not want to put up with it.

Seminarist Dzhugashvili

Poetic activity of Joseph Dzhugashvili lasted only 4 years - 1893 to 1896. Only six poems written by young Stalin have survived to this day and were published in the newspapers Kvali and Iveria in 1985–96. The rest of the manuscripts of his poems are irretrievably lost.

How the poet Soso Dzhugashvili, at the behest of Stalin, lost the Stalin Prize

In 1949, Lavrenty Beria made an attempt, secretly from Stalin, to publish his poems in Russian in a gift design for his 70th birthday. He selected the best translators for this purpose, among whom were the future Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak and Arseny Tarkovsky, the father of the world famous film director Andrei Tarkovsky. One of the translators, having familiarized himself with the interlinear translations and not knowing who their author was, said: "They deserve the Stalin Prize of the first degree." But when the work on translations was in full swing, an order followed to stop the activity.

Joseph Stalin at work

However, there is another version, which Galina Neuhaus told about. According to her version, Stalin was aware of the full depth of Pasternak's poetic gift and spoke to him on the phone more than once. And once he asked the poet to evaluate the poems of one of his friends. Pasternak guessed that these were the poems of the leader himself. When Pasternak read the poems, he found them primitive and uninteresting.And when Stalin called to find out his opinion, he resolutely said: "Let your friend do something else, if he has one." Stalin paused and said: "Thank you for your frankness, I will tell you so." After that, Pasternak expected that they would come for him.

Continuing the story about the literature of the first half of the 20th century, the story about how Soviet censorship fought seditious literature.

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