SemyonLipkin, 2001
photo by A. Krivomazov
SemyonLipkin, was bornin 1911 in Odessa but from 1929 lived in Moscow and published his poetryin newspapers and journals.When no longer published, he began a long and distinguishedcareer as a translator of Oriental poetry of the Soviet Union, rendering into Russian encient epics like Gulgamesh and Mahabharate, Shahnameh by Ferdowsi from Farsi, and classical poetry of Kalmyk, Kirgiz, Kabardin and Uzbek origin. He also translated from Yiddish Perets Markish, Itsek Fefer and others.
During the Second World War Lipkin was in the army and fought at Stalingrad. His first collection Ochevidets (Eyewitness) appeared in 1967, followed by Vechnyi den (Eternal Day), in 1975.
In 1979 after he and his wife published their poems in the underground almanach Metropol, he was excluded from the WritersUnion andre-admitted only in 1986. In 1981 Lipkins collection Volya (Freedom) was published in the USA on the initiative of Joseph Brodsky and re-published in Moscow only in 2003. It contained poems written over 50 years. His other books Kochevoi ogon (Nomadic Fire, 1984) and Kartiny i golosa (Pictures and Voices,1986) were also published in the West. Only from the end of 80s was his poetry published in Russia: Lira. Stikhi raznykh let (Lyre. Poems of Different Years, 1989), Lunnyi svet. Stikhotvoreniya i poemy (Moonlight. Long Poems, 1991), Posokh (Staff, 1997), Sem desyatiletii. Stikhotvoreniya, Poemy (Seven Decades. Short and Long Poems, 2000). Lipkin died in 2003, aged 91 in thehouse in Peredelkinowhere his wife, the poet Inna Lisnianskaya, still lives.

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