Kirsanov, Semen Isaakovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kirsanov, Semen Isaakovich


Born Sept. 5 (18), 1906, in Odessa; died Dec. 10, 1972, in Moscow. Soviet Russian poet.

In 1925, Kirsanov, the son of a tailor, graduated from the department of philology at the Odessa Institute of People’s Education. His work was first published in 1922. Kirsanov met and became a follower of V. V. Mayakovsky in 1924. That same year he became a contributor to the journal Lef (The Left Front). His published works include the narrative poems The Five-year Plan (1931) and Your Poem (1937) and the collection Cape of Desire (1938). In the early 1930’s he began to write publicistic poetry, for example, the collections Lines of the Building Site (1930) and Verses in Combat Line (1932) and the narrative poems The Five-year Plan (1931) and Activists (1933).

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Kirsanov served as a correspondent for the army newspaper, headed the brigade that issued the posters Okna TASS (TASS Placards) and wrote the copy for the popular print The Secret Word of Foma Smyslov, an Experienced Russian Soldier. The major literary works of Kirsanov include the narrative poems on social, historical, and philosophical themes, such as Comrade Marx (1933), Cinderella (1935), The Night Before the New Century (1940), and The Seven Days of the Week (1956); the dramatic poem The Sky Above the Motherland; the narrative poems Edem (1962) and Aleksandr Matrosov (1946); and the novella in verse Makar Mazai (1947–50; State Prize of the USSR, 1951).

Kirsanov’s poetry is marked by rhythmic variation and verbal inventiveness. Over the years his poems became simpler in form, and lyrical and philosophical motifs predominated. Kirsanov reflected on his own vocation and on the relationship of the individual to society, history, and the universe. He was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and several medals.


Sobr. soch., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1954.
Lirika: 1925–1962. Moscow, 1962.
Iskaniia: Stikhotvoreniia i poemy, 1923–1965. Moscow, 1967.
Zerkala [Stikhi], 1965–1968. Moscow, 1970.


Grinberg, I. “Sud’ba iskatelia.” Znamiia, 1967, no. 10.


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