Rasul Gamzatovich Gamzatov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gamzatov, Rasul Gamzatovich


Born Sept. 8, 1923, in the village of Tsada, Khunzakh Raion, Dagestan. Soviet Avar poet. People’s Poet of Dagestan (1959). Member of the CPSU since 1944.

Gamzatov was born into the family of the People’s Poet Gamzat Tsadasa. Gamzatov worked as a teacher. From 1945 to 1950 he studied at the M. Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow. He first appeared in print in 1937. His first collection of verses, Ardent Love and Burning Hatred, was published in 1943. In his verses of the war years, Gamzatov glorified the heroism of the Soviet people. In the collections Our Mountains (1947), My Land (1948), The Homeland of a Mountaineer (1950), The Lay of My Elder Brother (1952), Dagestan Spring (1955), and My Heart Is in the Mountains (1959) and the narrative poem Mountain Girl (1958). Gamzatov describes the life of socialist Dagestan, changes in the psychology of the mountaineers, and the indestructible friendship between peoples; he shows the opposition of young people to the old customs and their struggle for the right to love and for women’s equality. The high calling of the poet is the theme of the narrative poem A Conversation With My Father (1953). Gamzatov’s poetry is noted for its fresh interpretation of life, national color, and ability to sincerely and expressively portray the people and natural scenery of his native region. In 1952, Gamzatov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR for his collection of verses and narrative poems The Year of My Birth (1950). His collection High Stars (1962) earned the Lenin Prize in 1963. His collections Zarema (1963), Inscriptions (1963), And the Stars Speak Among Themselves (1964), and The Mulatto Woman (1966), as well as his lyrical novella My Dagestan (book 1, 1968) are all popular. Gamzatov also writes for children (My Grandfather, 1967) and issues articles on literary criticism. Gamzatov has translated into Avarian works by A. S. Pushkin, M. Iu. Lermontov, V. V. Mayakovsky, and other writers. His own verses have been translated into many of the languages of the peoples of the USSR and into foreign languages. He was a deputy to the sixth, seventh, and eighth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. From 1962 to 1966 he was a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He is a member of the Soviet Committee on Solidarity of the Countries of Asia and Africa. Gamzatov has headed the writers’ organization in Dagestan since 1951. He has been awarded the Order of Lenin, three other orders, and medals.


Tasa rishcharal asaral, vols. 1-2. Makhachkala, 1959-60.
Mug’rul va g’ at’ il’ ’abi. Makhachkala, 1963.
Tasa rishcharal asaral, vols. 1-2. Makhachkala, 1970.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe: Stikhotvoreniia i poemy, 1943-1963, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1964.
Moi Dagestan. Moscow, 1968.
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-3. Moscow, 1968-69.


Kapieva, N. “Deti doma odnogo.” Novyi mir, 1953, no. 4.
Gromova, A. “Rasul Gamzatov.” Oktiabr’, 1958, no. 11.
Ognev, V. F. Puteshestvie v poeziiu. Makhachkala, 1961.
Tushnova, V. “Zrelost’ talanta.” Novyi mir, 1963, no. 4.
Antopol’skii, L. “Istiny poezii.” Iunost’, 1968, no. 8.


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