Arseny Tarkovsky

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Arseny Tarkovsky
Arseny Tarkovsky in the mid 1930s.
Arseny Tarkovsky in the mid 1930s.
BornArseny Aleksandrovich Tarkovsky
(1907-06-25)June 25, 1907 (N.S.)
Yelisavetgrad, Russian Empire
DiedMay 27, 1989(1989-05-27) (aged 81)
Moscow, Soviet Union
ChildrenAndrei Tarkovsky

Arseny Aleksandrovich Tarkovsky (Russian: Арсений Александрович Тарковский, June 25 [O.S. June 12] 1907 – May 27, 1989) was a Soviet and Russian poet and translator, considered one of the great twentieth century Russian poets. He was predeceased by his son, film director Andrei Tarkovsky.



Tarkovsky was born on June 25 N.S. 1907 in Elisavetgrad, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire (now Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine). His father, Aleksandr Tarkovsky (in Polish: Aleksander Tarkowski), was a bank clerk, Russian revolutionary (Narodnik), and amateur actor[1] of Polish origin and his mother was Maria Danilovna Rachkovskaya.


In 1921, Tarkovsky and his friends published a poem which contained an acrostic about Lenin. They were arrested, and sent to Nikolayev for execution. Tarkovsky was the only one that managed to escape.[2]


By 1924 Tarkovsky moved to Moscow, and from 1924 to 1925 he worked for a newspaper for railroad workers called "Gudok", where he managed an editorial section written in verse. In 1925–1929 he studied literature at a university college[3] in Moscow.[2] At that time he translated poetry from Turkmen, Georgian, Armenian and Arabic.

During World War II he volunteered as a war-correspondent at the Army Newspaper Boevaya Trevoga (War Alarm). He was wounded in action in 1943. The leg wound he received caused gaseous gangrene, and Tarkovsky had to undergo six gradual amputations.

Arseny Tarkovsky was mainly known as a translator of Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri, Nizami, Magtymguly, Kemine, Sayat-Nova, Vazha-Pshavela, Adam Mickiewicz, Mollanepes, Grigol Orbeliani and many other poets. His first collection of poetry, Before snow, was published in 1962.[2]


He lived mostly in Moscow and Peredelkino and died on May 27, 1989, in Moscow. In 1989 he was posthumously awarded the USSR State Prize.


Tarkovsky's grave in the Peredelkino cemetery
  • Перед снегомBefore snow (1962);
  • Земле земноеTo Earth Its Own (1966);
  • ВестникMessenger (1969);
  • СтихотворенияPoems (1974);
  • Зимний деньWinter Day (1980);
  • ИзбранноеSelected works (1982);
  • Стихи разных летPoems of different years (1983) – compilation of early verse;
  • От юности до старостиFrom Youth to Old Age (1987)
  • Благословенный СветThe Blessed Light (1993 -posthumously).


  1. ^ Aleksandr Tarkovsky had been a student of the actor and playwright Ivan Karpenko-Kary (ru:Карпенко-Карый, Иван Карпович)
  2. ^ a b c Korolev, Anatolii (July 16, 2007). "Fate of father became life for son". Molodezh' Estonii. 162.
  3. ^ ru:Высшие государственные литературные курсы

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