Essays

Nikolay Zabolotskiy – Both Poetry and Fear

He overlooked his life. It’s easy to say. After all, he was not its master. The host was one. Rather, two: first – Lenin, then – Stalin. And the camps and the camps…


Nicholay Zabolotskiy stayed in prison, as expected. For what? Well, who will understand how Vysotsky sang. 

He Filonov and Bruegel loved and wrote his paintings in their style called “Columns”. 

Life is split into before and after – and then were Pushkin, Tyutchev, Baratynsky and poems, and the fear of return to those places where, under the escort are both the horizon and the sky, and the people, what about people, a worthless mosquito flight, one clap – and not in sight. 

Fear – not a pain, fear is NKVD boots’ imprint on the heart. Eleven years later, four years before his death, he wrote an ode to Lenin “Walkers.” What’s it like? It looks like a matriculation, the message to “favorite power” from the “loyal poet”, actually a rebel, in “Columns”, who opened himself for lyrics in the world. 

The poet is afraid, but the soul – no. And two years after the “Walkers”, the pain, its memory by the hand of Zabolotskiy, asking forgiveness of people, of conscience, writes “Somewhere in a field near Magadan” about two prisoners, old men, who, exhausted, “freeze away from loved ones and relatives”. Death – it is their parole, “The security will not catch them any more, the camp guards will not overtake.” 

A few words about the painting of Zabolotskiy. From Filonov and Bruegel – to Levitan, to the transparent and bright landscapes, to the lyrics, in tune with the poet’s soul. “Beetle minstrel gallops across the field, a butterfly flies, standing on the pointe, Sprawling on the books, April, fasten aiguillettes of cornflowers.” 

Nicholas Zabolotskiy remained in Russian literature as a great romantic, lyricist and unique artist who has created a unique poetic word gallery of still lives. By the end of his life both peace and understanding of his earthly mission came to him.

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