Vytautas Mikolasovic Montvila

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Montvila, Vytautas Mikolasovič


Born Feb. 19 (Mar. 4), 1902, in Chicago; died July 19, 1941. Soviet Lithuanian poet.

Montvila was the son of a worker. In 1906 he left the United States and returned with his family to Lithuania, where he later worked as a farm laborer. In 1924, Montvila was imprisoned for participating in an antiwar youth organization. In 1928 he graduated from the Marijampole Teachers’ Seminary and in the same year attended the University of Kaunas. Montvila’s first poetry collection (1925) was banned; in 1933 he published the collection Nights Without Shelter.

In his poetry, Montvila condemned the Lithuanian bourgeois system. The unexpectedly prose-like, realistic imagery, close connection with reality, tense dynamism, and freedom of rhythm and rhyme of his verse attested to the appearance of an original poet in Lithuania. After 1940, Montvila took part in the formation of Soviet Lithuania. In 1940 he published the collection Into the Broad Earth. Montvila’s last poetry cycle, A Wreath for Soviet Lithuania (1941), included the renowned poems “To Lenin” and “Daina About Lenin,” which were later translated into many foreign languages. He translated the works of M. Gorky and of V. V. Mayakovsky (whose poetry influenced him greatly) into Lithuanian. Montvila was executed by the Nazis in the vicinity of Kaunas in the seventh fort.


Raštai, vols. 1–2. Vilnius, 1956.
I sautés taka. Vilnius, 1963.
Laisva daina. Vilnius, 1964.
In Russian translation:
Svet vash ne pogas. Moscow, 1959.
Stikhi. Introductory article by L. Ozerov. Moscow, 1962.


Ocherk istorii litovskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1955.
Baltušis, J. “Chelovek, poet, borets. “Kommunist, Vilnius, 1963, no. 3.
Ognev, V. U karty poezii. Moscow, 1968.
Atsiminimai apie V. Montvila. Vilnius, 1966.
Montviliene, D. Neklauskit meiks vardo. Vilnius, 1970.


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