Johannes Vares

(redirected from Johannes Vares Barbarus)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.