Smeliakov, Iaroslav

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Smeliakov, Iaroslav Vasil’evich


Born Dec. 26, 1912 (Jan. 8, 1913), in Lutsk; died Nov. 27, 1972, in Moscow. Soviet Russian poet.

The son of a worker, Smeliakov graduated from an industrial training school and worked in a printing house. He fought in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). Smeliakov began publishing in 1931. His first collections, Work and Love and Poems (both 1932), glorified intensive work and the new way of life. His poetry, addressed mainly to factory youth, is marked by conversational rhythms and intonations, an original combination of lyricism and humor, and a lofty romanticism.

Smeliakov’s postwar books Kremlin Spruces (1948) and Selected Poems (1957) and the narrative poem A Stern Love (1956) were dedicated to the youth of the 1920’s. The majestic, simple, and clear poetry in these works testified to Smeliakov’s social and historical interpretation of life. Smeliakov’s later works, which developed these tendencies most fully, also expressed the theme of the continuity of generations and of Komsomol traditions. Examples are the collections A Conversation About the Main Thing (1959), Russia’s Day (1967; State Prize of the USSR, 1967), Comrade Komsomol (1968), and December (1970) and the narrative poem Young People (1968).

Smeliakov was also a translator and the author of topical and critical articles. He was awarded three orders.


Izbr.proizv., vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1970.
Moe pokolenie: Kniga stikhotvorenii. Moscow, 1973.
Rabota i liubov’, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1973.
Sluzhba vremeni. Moscow, 1975.


Dement’ev, V. Iaroslav Smeliakov: Sil’nyi, kak tern. Moscow, 1967.
Rassadin, St. Iaroslav Smeliakov. Moscow, 1971.
Urban, A. “Otkryvaia knigu stikhov.” Zvezda, 1975, no. 1.


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