Wait for Me (poem)

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Wait for Me (Жди меня), written by the Russian poet and playwright turned war correspondent Konstantin Simonov, is one of the best known Russian World War II poems. The poem was written by Simonov in 1941 after he left his love Valentina Serova behind to take on his new duties of war correspondent on the battlefront.

Simonov and Serova were married in 1943. Their relationship was a troubled one. During the war it was widely rumored that Serova was a "campaign wife" (mistress) of General K.K. Rokossovski. While it's true that Serova, working as a hospital volunteer, met Rokossovski several times while he was recovering from a wound from a shell fragment in early 1942, there is no evidence that they were lovers.[1] Rokossovski already had a mistress at this time, Dr. Lt. Galina Talanova, with whom he had a daughter in 1945.[2]

One of the most popular poems ever written in Russia, Wait for Me was especially popular with the frontoviks (front-line soldiers) in the Great Patriotic War as Russians call World War II.[3] Most frontoviks knew Wait for Me by heart, and it was very common for frontoviks to carry a locket with a picture of their wives or girlfriends in it, which a copy of Wait for Me was wrapped around, as a sign of their desire to return to their loved ones and to survive the war.[4] Many soldiers seemed to believe that this would somehow how help them to survive the war, as if declaring their love would protect them and ensure that they would get back home.[5]

The poem was notably referenced in "Red Star: The Soviet Union (1941–1943)", the eleventh episode of the ITV documentary series The World at War.[6] On Sept. 21, 2016, computer game developer Wargaming/Lesta Studio have published on their youtube channel the World of Warships cinematic game trailer dedicated to the Day of Peace, featuring the poem.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Braithwaite, Rodric; Moscow, 1941, Vintage Books, New York, 2006, p 295
  2. ^ Braithwaite, Rodric; Moscow, 1941, Vintage Books, New York, 2006, p 208
  3. ^ Merridale, Catherine Ivan's War The Red Army 1939-1945, London: Faber and Faber, 2005 page 168
  4. ^ Merridale, Catherine Ivan's War The Red Army 1939-1945, London: Faber and Faber, 2005 page 168
  5. ^ Merridale, Catherine Ivan's War The Red Army 1939-1945, London: Faber and Faber, 2005 page 168
  6. ^ Excerpt from World at War at youtube.com Retrieved March 18, 2010
  7. ^ Wait for Me at youtube.com Retrieved September 22, 2016

External links[edit]