(1887 – 1964)
Marshak Samuil Yakovlevich (1887 – 1964), poet, translator. He was born on October 22 (November 3, 2001) in Voronezh in the family of a factory technician, a talented inventor who supported in children a desire for knowledge, interest in the world, in people. Early childhood and school years spent in the town of Ostrogozhsk near Voronezh. In the gymnasium, the teacher of literature instilled a love of classical poetry, encouraged the first literary experiments of the future poet. One of Marshak’s poetic notebooks fell into the hands of V. Stasov, a famous Russian critic and art historian, who took an active part in the fate of the young man. With the help of Stasov, he moves to Petersburg, studies in one of the best gymnasiums, spends whole days in the public library where Stasov worked.
In 1904 in the house of Stasov Marshak met M. Gorky, who treated him with great interest and invited him to his dacha on the Black Sea, where Marshak was treated, studied, read a lot, met with different people. When the Gorky family was forced to leave the Crimea because of the repression of the tsarist government after the 1905 revolution, Marshak returned to St. Petersburg, where by that time his father, who worked at the plant outside the Nevskaya Zastava, had moved.
Labor youth began: walking through lessons, cooperation in magazines and almanacs.
A few years later, to complete his education, Marshak went to study in England, first at the Polytechnic School, then at the University of London. During the holidays, he travels a lot in England, listens to English folk songs. Even then he began to work on translations of English ballads, which subsequently made him famous.
In 1914 he returned to his homeland, worked in the provinces, published his translations in the journals Severnye zapiski and Russkaya Mysl. In the war years, he helped children of refugees.
From the beginning of the 1920s he participates in the organization of children’s homes in Krasnodar, creates a children’s theater, in which he begins his work as a children’s writer.
In 1923, returning to Petrograd, he wrote his first original fairy tales in verse – “The Tale of the Stupid Mouse”, “Fire”, “Mail”, translates from English children’s folk songs – “The House That Jack Built,” etc. Heads one of the first Soviet children’s magazines –
“New Robinson”, around which talented children’s writers gather. Marshak was the first employee of M. Gorky, who created the Children’s Literature Publishing House (Detgiz).
Marshak’s poems for children, his songs, riddles, tales and stories, plays for the children’s theater over time have compiled a collection of “Tales, songs, riddles”, repeatedly reprinted and translated into many languages.
In the 1930s he wrote a satirical pamphlet “Mr. Twister”, a poem “The Story of an Unknown Hero”, etc. During the Patriotic War he actively collaborates in newspapers – his parodies, epigrams, political pamphlets ridicule and denounce the enemy. In the postwar years, books of poems are published – “Military Mail”, “Byl-fiction”, a poetic encyclopedia “A Merry Journey from A to Z”. He is also involved in translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets and songs by R. Burns, translates the poems of J. Keats, R. Kipling, W. Wadsworth, and others.
Among the dramatic works of Marshak, “Twelve Months”, “Clever Things”, ” “.
In 1961 he published a collection of articles entitled “Educating the Word” – the result of the writer’s great creative experience.
In 1963 there was “Selected Lyrics” – the last book of the writer. S. Marshak died on July 4, 1964 in Moscow.