Johannes Vares

(redirected from Johannes Vares-Barbarus)

Vares, Johannes


(pseudonym, Barbarus). Born Jan. 12, 1890, in Kheimtali Volost, Vil’iandi District; died Nov. 29, 1946, in Tallin. Soviet Estonian poet and political figure; Honored Writer of the Estonian SSR (1945); and member of the Communist Party from 1940. Born into a peasant family.

Vares studied medicine at the University of Kiev (1910-14) and worked as a doctor in Piarnu from 1920 to 1939. He first published in 1910. In 1918 he published a collection of poetry, Fata Morgana. The influence of symbolism is apparent in his early work, but the book Relations (1922) is more realistic and contains the idea of the hostility of the bourgeois world toward the toiling masses, which is also introduced into the collections Geometric Man (1924) and Multiplied Man (1927). In the 1930’s Vares’ antibourgeois attitudes became increasingly evident in his poetry. The collections World Revealed (1930), The EstonianRepublic (1932), Culmination (1932-34), Fish Out of Water (1937), and Across the Threshhold (1939) are filled with hatred for fascism and militarism. In these works Vares’ poetic style approaches classical clarity.

The source of Vares’ poetic inspiration came to be the successes of socialism in the USSR and the masses’ battle against fascism. In 1933 he called on the Estonian nation to oppose the menace of fascism, and he later organized aid for the Spanish Republic. A convinced democrat and humanist, Vares did not submit to the pressures of bourgeois nationalism. After the fall of the bourgeois regime in Estonia he became, in June 1940, prime minister of the people’s government and, in July 1940, president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR (1940-46).

During the Great Patriotic War, Vares wrote brilliant patriotic verses: the collection Armed Verses (1943) and Along the Roads of the Front (1944). In 1946 he published the best poetry from his bourgeois period in the collection Against the Current. Poetry from the Soviet years was included in the collection Step by Step to Victory (1946). The book The Rebirth of Soviet Estonia (1945) contains his publicistic articles and speeches. Vares was awarded the Order of Lenin.


Kogutud teosed, vols. 1-3. Tallin, 1948-50.
Luuletusi. Tallin, 1965.
In Russian translation:
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1940.
Stikhotvoreniia, 1941-1943. Moscow, 1943.
Izbrannoe. Tallin, 1948.
[Stikhotvoreniia.] In Antologiia estonskoi poezii, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1959. Pages 103-17.


References in periodicals archive ?
A people's government was formed according to the plan confirmed in Moscow and included three celebrated literati: the Prime Minister was the Cross of Liberty decorated Johannes Vares-Barbarus who had fought on the Narva front in the War of Independence; the seat of the Minister of Education was given to the great expert on European culture, highly educated Johannes Semper, while Nigol Andresen became the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting to that effect counted the participation of the ESSR leader of government Johannes Vares-Barbarus and many very important figures in the development of the planned ensembles and the Estonian cultural life--Paul Pinna, Ants Lauter, Nigol Andresen, Eugen Kapp and Vladimir Alumae (Cf.
o okupatsioonivoimu kohaliku korgema administratsiooni koosseisu kuulus toepoolest kolm tuntud literaati: Johannes Vares-Barbarus (peaminister), Johannes Semper (haridusminister) ja Nigol Andresen (valisminister).