David Samoilov

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Samoilov, David Samuilovich


(pen name; real surname Kaufman). Born June 1,1920, in Moscow. Soviet Russian poet.

Samoilov studied at the Moscow Institute of Philosophy, Literature, and History from 1938 to 1941. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) he served in reconnaissance. His first works were published in 1941. Samoilov is the author of the following collections of lyric poetry: Neighboring Countries (1958), The Second Pass (1963), Days (1970), and The Wave and the Rock (1974). His poetry is permeated with reminiscences and reflections about the war years (for example, “The Forties” and the narrative poem Neighboring Countries), the destiny of the contemporary generation, the history of the motherland, and the duties and tasks of art. It is distinguished by internal dramatic tension and a seriousness and intensity of moral and philosophical thought. Samoilov’s style, concretely picturesque and often highly metaphorical, combines, sometimes ironically, the lofty and the mundane. His verse is rich in intonation, melodious, and faithful to classical traditions.

Samoilov has translated the poems of foreign poets, and his own poems have been translated into many foreign languages. He has been awarded the Order of the Red Star, as well as various medals.


Ravnodenstvie: Stikhotvoreniia ipoemy. Moscow, 1972.
Poety-sovremenniki: Stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov. [Foreword by P. Antokol’skii.] Moscow, 1963.
Kniga o russkoi rifme. Moscow, 1973.


Sarnov, B. “Zrelost’.” Novyimir, 1964, no. 3.
Mezhelaitis, E. “Pora zrelosti.” Literaturnaia gazeta, July 2,1964.
Iskander, F. “Tret’ia kniga poeta.” Novyi mir, 1971, no. 9.
Evtushenko, Evg. “Neprinuzhdennost’ kak svoistvo poezii.” Literaturnaia gazeta, Aug. 16, 1972.
Liubareva, E. “Novye raboty o rifme.” Voprosy literatury, 1974, no. 3.