With a poetic inscription and edits by guardian of the poet's legacy

VOLOSHIN, Maksimilian

[Poetry in Samizdat]

Publication: [Crimea?, ca. 1961.

VOLOSHIN, Maksimilian, [Poetry in Samizdat]

Lovely collection of Voloshin’s poems, inscribed by his widow to a fellow writer.

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Warmly inscribed by Voloshin’s widow to A.E. Mindlin, a writer and close friend of the family: a touching samizdat collection of poetry of “the first poet of samizdat” (Vladimirova, our translation here and below). The 11 poems here include the famous “Koktebel” (1918) and “Dom poeta” [“The Poet’s House”] (1926), referring to the poet’s mansion in Koktebel (Crimea) where he sheltered Red Army soldiers from persecution by the Whites, and after the change of regime, the Whites from the Reds as a gesture of his pacifist philosophy.

Voloshin (1877-1932) was victimised by the Bolsheviks for his political views from 1923, and none of his works were published in the USSR during more than 30 years, from 1928 to 1961. He is often considered the first poet whose works began circulating in samizdat: from 1918 his poems about the Revolution run in “thousands of manuscripts” (Vladimirova); he also wrote in 1926 that his poems were destined to be “rewritten secretly”, “to be not in a book, but a notebook during his lifetime” (Lavrov).

He died in 1932 from pneumonia, and his second wife Mariia Zabolotskaia (1887-1976) took charge of the preservation of his heritage in the poet’s house in Koktebel. Zabolotskaia managed to preserve Voloshin’s archives and house from looting and destruction during Stalin’s purges of the 1930s and the German occupation of Koktebel in November 3, 1941 – April 13, 1944.

In this attractive samizdat collection, Zabolotskaia left a few notes in the poem “Mir” [“Peace”] (1917), and she warmly inscribed the group to the writer Anatolii Emilievich Mindlin (1923-2011), the son of the poet Emilii Lvovich (1900-81) who considered Voloshin his teacher in literature. The inscription reads: “I give this note to my dear Tolia with tenderness and a kind feeling, so that the blur of memories of all you have experienced in ‘The Poet’s House’ may return to you” [“Milomu Tole s nezhnostiu i dobrym chuvstvom vruchaiu [?] etu pripisku – chtoby vospominanii mut i pamiat Vam mogli vernut, vse to, chto Vy perezhili v ‘Dome Poeta'”].


Anatolii Emilievich Mindlin (gift inscription on upper cover verso from Mariia Zabolotskaia-Voloshina).

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Physical Description

Typescript (21 x 15 cm) of [23] ll.


Leaves loose kept within a larger white paper sheet used as wrappers, name of author typed to upper cover.


Wrappers rubbed with spine splitting; a couple of leaves with minor stains.

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