Robert Rozhdestvensky

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Robert Ivanovich Rozhdestvensky (Russian: Ро́берт Ива́нович Рожде́ственский; 20 June 1932 – 19 August 1994) was a Soviet poet who broke with socialist realism in the 1950s–1960s and, along with such poets as Andrey Voznesensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Bella Akhmadulina, pioneered a newer, fresher, and freer style of poetry in the Soviet Union.


Robert Rozhdestvensky was born to a military family in the village of Kosikha in Altai Krai. Following the outbreak of World War II, with both parents in the army, he found himself in the orphanage. After graduating high school, he attended Petrozavodsk University, where he began writing poetry (the first ones were published in 1950). He quit the University in order to attend Maxim Gorky Literature Institute, which he finished in 1956.

In the time of the Khrushchev Thaw he worked alongside Voznesensky, Yevtushenko, and Akhmadulina. They broke with the Social Realism, and wrote emotional, lyric poems. Despite this, Rozhdestvenski was always careful not to criticize the government, and thus remained in official favor through the 1960s and 1970s, even being awarded the Lenin Prize in 1979.

In October 1993, he signed the Letter of Forty-Two.[1]

Rozhdestvensky died on 19 August 1994 in Peredelkino.


File:RIAN archive 681907 Poet Robert Rozhdestvennsky at 3rd All-Union Celebration of Pushkin Poetry.jpg
Rozhdestvensky speaking at the 3rd All-Union Celebration of the poetry of Alexander Pushkin at the Pushkin Academic Drama Theatre in Pskov, 1969.
  • Flags of Spring (Флаги весны), 1955
  • To My Contemporary (Ровеснику), 1962
  • Dedication (Посвящение), 1970
  • In Twenty Years (За двадцать лет), 1973
  • Insomnia (Бессонница), 1991
  • Alyoshka's Thoughts (Алёшкины мысли), poems for children, 1991
  • Last poems of Robert Rozhdestvensky was published after his death.
  • Collection of Robert Rozhdestvensky's Poems in English Translated from the Russian By Alec Vagapov.


  1. Писатели требуют от правительства решительных действий. Izvestia (in русский). 5 October 1993. Retrieved 21 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>