Kvitko, Lev

Kvitko, Lev Moiseevich


Born Oct. 15, 1890; died Sept. 12, 1952. Soviet Jewish poet. Member of the CPSU (1939).

Kvitko was born in the village of Goloskovo, in present-day Khmel’nitskii Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. He was forced to support himself after being orphaned at the age often. Kvitko’s narrative poem The Red Storm (1918) was the first work in Jewish literature about the Great October Socialist Revolution. Little Songs, his first book of verses for children, and Steps, a collection of lyric poems, were both published in 1919.

Kvitko is distinctive as a lyric poet. His poetry is marked by its purity and acuteness of vision, by a love of life and homeland, by its insistence on friendship among peoples, and by its faith in the communist future. His lyrics radiate a fresh and good-natured humor. In 1941, Kvitko wrote The Young Years, a novel in verse about the events of 1918 (published in Russian translation in 1968). His autobiographical novella Liam and Petrik was published in Russian translation in 1958. Kvitko’s poetry has been translated into many languages of the world.


Geklibene Verk. Moscow, 1948.
Geklibene Verk. Moscow, 1968.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi. Moscow, 1948.
Moim druz’iam. Moscow, 1957. [Foreword by R. Fraerman.]
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1964. [Introductory article by K. Chukovskii.]
V gosti. Moscow, 1970.


Smirnov, V. Lev Kvitko: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1957.
Chukovskii, K. Sovremenniki: Portrety i etiudy. Moscow, 1962.
Remenik, G. A. “Dikhtung fun revoliutsionern umru.” Sovetish Heim-land, 1970, no. 11.