Kempe, Mirdza Ianovna
(pseudonym of M. Ia. Naikovskaia). Born Jan. 27 (Feb. 9), 1907, in Liepaja. Soviet Latvian poet. People’s Poet of the Latvian SSR (1967). Honored Cultural Worker of the Latvian SSR (1957). Daughter of a worker.
Kempe studied at the University of Latvia in 1927–28. Her work was first published in 1924. In the 1920’s she worked as an announcer for Radio Riga. Later she worked for the newspaper Informator. After the reestablishment of Soviet power in Latvia, she became editor in chief of literary and artistic broadcasting for the Riga Radio Committee (1940–41). Beginning in 1940 her poems were published in the newspaper Brīvais Zemnieks (The Free Plowman). During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Kempe lived in Astrakhan, Ivanovo, and Moscow; she translated and wrote for the theater; her works were published in the newspapers Cīņja (Struggle) and Latviešu Strēļnieks (The Latvian Rifleman) and the literary miscellany Karogs (The Banner). After the war Kempe returned to Riga. In 1946 she published the collection Morning Wind, followed by The Word of a Friend (1950), Love (1957; State Prize of the Latvian SSR, 1958), The Fierce Flame (1961), The Eternity of Moments (1964; Russian translation, 1966; State Prize of the USSR, 1967), The Path of Man (1969), and The Wild Rose (1972).
Kempe’s poetry is topical and civic; her lyrical hero is contemporary. Many of her poems are devoted to the struggle of peoples for peace. She has translated into Latvian the works of A. S. Pushkin, M. Iu. Lermontov, W. Whitman, M. Dzhalil’, and E. Mieželaitis, as well as K. A. Fedin’s An Unusual Summer, M. Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and J. Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The poet’s own works have been translated into many languages of the peoples of the USSR. She has been awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor and medals.
WORKSDzejas. Izlase. Riga, 1955.
Es nevaru klusēt [Dzejoļu krāj]. Riga, 1959.
Mirkļu mūižība. Dzejoļu izlase. Riga, 1964.
Dzintara spogulis. Riga, 1968.
Cilvēka cēļš. Dzeja. Riga, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Stikhotvoreniia (1941–1951). Leningrad, 1952.
Vechnost’ mgnovenii. Moscow, 1969.
Iantarnoe zerkalo: Lirich. miniatiury. Riga, 1970.
L. K. OSIPOVA