Brovka, Petrus

Brovka, Petrus’

 

(full name, Petr Ustinovich Brovka). Born June 12 (25), 1905, in the village of Putilkovichi, now in Ushachi Raion, Vitebsk Oblast. Soviet Byelorussian poet. People’s Poet of the Byelorussian SSR (1962) and academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Byelorussian SSR (1966; corresponding member, 1953). Member of the CPSU since 1940. Graduated from the Byelorussian State University in 1931.

Brovka’s first works were published in 1926. His early works include the collections of poems Years as a Storm (1930) and Weekdays in the Workshop (1931) and the novella The Calenders (1931) about the working class. His early poetry enthusiastically and romantically glorified the revolution and the new socialist way of life. The narrative poem Through Mountains and Steppes (1932) deals with the Civil War, and the narrative poem 1914 (1935) exposes the anti-humanitarian essence of the imperialist wars. These works evince the author’s fruitful study with V. V. Mayakovsky. The new hero, the builder and creator who actively transforms life, appears in Brovka’s poetry in the middle 1930’s (April, Grandfather Taras, The Gardener, and Joy). The poet attempts to expose the variety and depth of the lyrical hero’s sentiments and his joy in life and to glorify the beauty of the nature of his native land (collections The Hero’s Arrival, 1935; The Homeland’s Spring, 1937; and On the Pine Forest Roads, 1940).

During the Great Patriotic War Brovka worked with the frontline and partisan press. He depicted the heroism, courage, and steadfastness of the people in the lyric and epic narrative poems Byelorussia (1943) and The Narrative Poem About Smoliachkov (1943) and in the poems “Let Us Sow, Byelorussians!”, “Kastus’ Kalinovskii,” “Nadia-Nadeika,” “The Soldier’s Grave,” and others. The narrative poems Iasnyi Kut (1945), The Female Captive (1945), and Bread (1946) and the poems “Victory Park,” “A Hero’s Death,” and “The Smith” are marked by subtle lyricism and vivid national color. The narrative poem Bread and the poems “Thoughts of Moscow,” “The People’s Thanks,” “Brother and Sister,” and others earned him the State Prize of the USSR in 1947. The heroic labor exploits of the people, the friendship of Soviet peoples, and the struggle for peace are the themes of the collections In the Native House (1946), The Path of Life (1950; State Prize of the USSR, 1951), and With a Firm Step (1954). The novel When Rivers Merge (1957; Ia. Kolas Literature Prize, 1957) is devoted to the construction of a hydroelectric power plant on the border of three republics and the friendship of the Byelorussians, Lithuanians, and Latvians.

The humanitarian spirit in Brovka’s poetry has matured, and realism, philosophical thought, and penetration into the Soviet man’s inner world have deepened (collections The Fragrant Thyme, 1959; As the Days Go By, 1961 [Lenin Prize, 1962]; Always With Lenin, 1967; and Among the Red Mountain Ashes, 1969). The narrative poem Always With Lenin (1956) is a stirring dialogue with the reader about the great power of Lenin’s ideas. The lyrical narrative poem The Voice of the Heart (1960) is devoted to the poet’s mother, who was tortured to death by fascist butchers in Oswiecim. The strength of Brovka’s poetry lies in a deep sense of civic duty, sincere emotions, a life-asserting world view, and simplicity and clarity of form. Brovka wrote the libretto of the operas Mikhas’ Podgornyi and The Girl From Poles’e. He translated the works of V. Mayakovsky, M. Isakovskii, A. Tvardovskii, A. Prokof’ev, T. Shevchenko, M. Bazhan, P. Tychina, and other poets into Byelorussian.

Brovka was a deputy to the fourth through eighth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The Twentieth through Twenty-sixth Congresses of the Byelorussian Communist Party elected him member of the Central Committee. Brovka was editor-in-chief of the journal Polymia from 1945 to 1948 and chairman of the board of the Byelorussian SSR Writers’ Union from 1948 to 1967. He has been editor-in-chief of the Byelorussian Soviet Encyclopedia since 1967. He has been awarded three Orders of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.

WORKS

Zbor tvorav, vols. 1-4. Minsk, 1965-66.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. proizv., vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1969.

REFERENCES

Perkin, N. Tvorchasts’ Piatrusia Brouki. Minsk, 1952.
Biarozkin, R. “Piatius’ Brouka.” In his book Paeziia praudy. Minsk, 1958.
Mozol’kov, E. “Petrus’ Brovka.” In his book Poiushchaia zemlia. Moscow, 1965.
Isakovskii, M. Sobr. soch., vol. 4. Moscow, 1969. Pages 90-97.
Piatrus’ Brouka: Bibliiagrafichny davednik. Minsk, 1965.

I. V. SOLOMEVICH

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