Nikolai Shelebi

Shelebi, Nikolai Ivanovich


(real surname, Polorussov). Born May 1 (13), 1881, in the village of Novoe Uzeevo, in what is now Aksubaevo Raion, Tatar ASSR; died Jan. 12, 1945, in Cheboksary. Soviet Chuvash poet. People’s Poet of the Chuvash ASSR (1936).

Shelebi was the son of a poor peasant. In his first work, the song “Russia” (1905), he exposed the unjust social order of tsarist Russia and called upon the people to struggle against it. In the poem “The Serpent” (1907), he used allegory to express his confidence in the ultimate defeat of the forces of evil. Between 1912 and 1915, Shelebi composed the satirical poem “Vasianka” and the narrative poem Cheremshan and Kondurcha. His poems and songs written after the Great October Revolution include “Lenin,” “A Chuvash Woman,” and “The Chuvash Kolkhoz.”

Although Shelebi lost his sight in 1931, he continued to write. The verses he produced during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 attracted a wide audience. Among the most famous of these works are “I Summon,” “The Storm,” and “The Song of a Hero Pilot.” Shelebi was awarded the Order of the Badge of Honor.


Suylasa ilnisem. Cheboksary, 1948.
In Russian translation:
Chuvashskaia pesnia. Cheboksary, 1955.


Sirotkin, M. Ia. Nikolai Ivanovich Polorussov (Shelebi). Cheboksary, 1956.
Iur’ev, M. I. Pisaleli Sovetskoi Chuvashii. Cheboksary, 1975.