The most terrible thing in the world is to be calm

Several years ago I had to compile and edit the book of poets of my generation who died in the battles for their country on the fronts of the Great Patriotic War. The book was decided to be called “Names in Verification”, remembering that this tradition was born – to call out at the test, as living in the ranks, those who heroically gave their lives for the Motherland – in Tenginsky Regiment, where Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov served. The essence of this unique battle roll was that as much as possible sounded on it poetic names, then to continue the publication of such collections, so that none of the dead poets was forgotten.

And then, reading and rereading these poets, it was impossible not to feel how much more cheerful, lighter than many sensational young poets in those years, where the “I” stuck out and sounded more often selfishly. Their pre-war predecessors in verse are anxious, apprehensive of a near war. And it was felt in everything,

about what they wrote, even in the most intimate love poems. Readiness for self-sacrifice raised, like wings, this poetry. Perhaps, it was more precisely expressed by the young poet Mikhail Kulchitsky in his famous lines:

Already again to the borders of the Sisy

Compositions are secret.

And communism is so close again,

As in the nineteenth year.

These lines are taken from passages and unfinished, not finished to the end of the poem, called by the author “The most such.” This poem is about the Motherland, about time, about its generation. It is disturbing and, as it were, pressed out of feelings and thoughts, unbalanced, but purposeful, angular, but rectilinear, simple and at the same time very complex. Her, like real poetry, can not be conveyed in her own words. Epigraphs to the chapters of the poem the poet took lines from different poets, but the first was a line from Velimir Khlebnikov “Rus, You’re all a kiss in the cold,” the line is bright, expressive, full of fire. And poetically very expressive, capacious. In this epigraph the theme was already designated,

its character was caught. The concept of the Motherland included, above all, the unity of our young hearts, reverently remembering the feats of the fathers in the civil war, the international kinship of not only the fraternal peoples of the Soviet Union, but also the working people of the whole world. Russia as the birthplace of the Great October is comprehended by the poet in many of his poems, here it occupies the main place. About love for her was said directly and very hot, because it did not sound obtrusive. The poet seemed to exhale words: “I love Russia very much.” This is the first line of Kulchytsky’s poem. Right away from the main thing, from the very beginning. This no longer gave the poet the right to take a smaller one. And the image of the Motherland arose expressively, although the poet seems to be very stingy with expressive means: “With the long eyes of the rivers…”, “Under the fluttering hairdo of a colossal color.” Homeland as a favorite girl. She has her own character close to the poet, in her features there appear sharply decisiveness, the integrity of the generation. This girl is ready to go out with a weapon in her hands and to defend her youthful happiness. And one more feature of her character is internationalist breadth, the consciousness of her international duty, and this duty is more important than the poet’s dearest, he is his song, his fate, his future: “Let not a song, and I fall in battle… Not another song others will sing, and for that as in the Russians in the sky the French girl would look calm… “.

It is written, or rather, all of this is laid out with a firm hand on the eve of the war. The last date is January 23, 1941, and these lines are burned with their mobilization readiness to stand for the cause of the revolution, for the cause of a world in danger. This was the main point. And with all his exceptional love for poetry, jealous and poignant, poetry, as it were, left the poet to the background, although the poet did not separate her from what the country lived and lived himself. The passion to comprehend and express the Motherland with its then dream of a world revolution, which once again before the war became more acute, as at the very beginning of Soviet power, in the nineteenth year, with undisguised hatred of philistinism, all sorts of philistinism, all “crooks” that get mixed up in feet.

Our Motherland is like a grain,

In which the shoots hides,

Like the grain from which the ear began

Hence the pride, the consciousness that, for all our prosperity, we are spiritually richer than everyone else in the world:

He is poor, who was not in Russia.

And naivete, fervor, and beyond the years of intelligence – all because he takes for the living, that it has a deep, trembling faith, no shadow of doubt in the high predestination of his generation, his Fatherland.

He is still the same in verse, although everywhere seems to be different. Not yet established as a poet, even in his intonations, it seems that his most beloved poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, is somewhere-Khlebnikov, perhaps, in part, Bagritsky. But there is a character, and he is sharply outlined in Kulchytsky: impulsive, passionate, sharply angular. And at the same time you feel under all this his friendly, impetuous tenderness.

It is interesting that the poets with whom he is close at the Literary Institute and the Moscow Poetic Brotherhood are very different and at the same time amazing like-minded people. They have not yet formed, but they can not be confused with each other. The tidbits of identity are obvious. Even where they write about the same thing, different literary schools are felt. The main thing is the uniqueness of the individualities inherent in them.

Among them, I think, more than others, Mikhail Kulchitsky possessed such an inner peculiarity. It crossed several blood, Slavic and others, he, as it were, emphasized his internationality. It affected his intelligent principle: his father was an officer, he himself published several poetic books. He was, apparently, a patriot of his country.

Combat, decisive, collected in one burst, Michael Kulchitsky from his generation took a romantic vzvirennost. He was “tormented by the love of fighting for the commune.” And he did not go, but rushed into these fights. He is tall, large, and in spirituality, according to his ideals, he hates the front, selflessly loving his young brotherhood:

… and the five continents of mine are compressed

The fist “Roth front.”

And now I rightly love Russia.

The breadth, clearly defined, strictly delineated, the scope of love precisely for this and not other Russia, the homeland of the brotherhood of all the peoples of the Earth, is a huge, restless goal – hence

The most terrible thing in the world –

It’s to be reassured.

From the first days of the war, Mikhail Kulchitsky, like his peers, was eager for the front. And he achieved his goal – he was sent to the forefront…

So little is known about his death. So little is known about whether he wrote between battles, whether he managed to give himself to the beloved there, on the front line. And is there anything else, except for a few of these military lines, have survived, and who and where and his military notebooks. He could not not carry them with him, do not write down in them what was so torn from the heart in those dangerous and harsh days.

But also by the fact that there is something that is known, it immediately catches the eye, how more closely, how stricterly, he became more reserved at the front, as if his verse seemed to be put into operation, ready for reconnaissance, tightened up, became more efficient and simpler, and together with that and more difficult:

… Black from sweat, up

The infantry slips along the plowing.

And the clay in chomping sweatshop

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The most terrible thing in the world is to be calm