Path to the title of children’s poets

«I’m from the country of his childhood,» — said Exupery. About Me I’d like to put it another way: «I am from a country of modern childhood.»

Agnes Barto

The poems Agnes Barto become part of everyone’s life since childhood. «Our Tanya crying out loud …» «There is a bull swinging …» it seems that these lines, we learned once learned to speak. Agnes L. wrote simply and clearly at the same time invested in their work meaningful. She knew the children’s psychology and never divided people on both children and adults.

From the distant childhood

Barto has been one of the major poets of our country’s children, her book came out in millions of copies, they do not lose their popularity to this day. In these publications has grown more than one generation. «The circulation of her books more than the entire population of some continents,» — wrote Rasul Gamzatov. Works by Agnes Barto love not only in Russia — they are read almost a hundred languages. However, she entered the history not only as a children’s poet. Behind the poet — a lot of work to find missing children during the war, she helped reunite hundreds of families. Agnes L. also wrote the screenplay for the film was a bright cultural figures of his time.

According to the official version, Agnes L. was born February 17, 1906 in Moscow, in a fairly wealthy Jewish family. But in fact, the future poet was born a year later in 1907. The confusion arose from the fact that seventeen years of famine in Agnes finds a job in a clothing store to get rations for employees (consisting, incidentally, of herring heads). The operation took only eighteen, so she added a year currently.

Maiden name of the future poet was the ox. Barto — surname of her first husband. Agnes L. left her for life, though lived for many years in another marriage. Agnes’s father, Leo oxen served as a veterinarian. His mother, Maria Ilinichna oxen was a housewife. The family was provided with sufficient and conducted typical intellectuals of those years measured life. On many of the features of his happy family life Agnes L. tried to hold back in the future, since it is not a biography of Soviet poet adorned. However, some of the memories she still retained. Among them: the hurdy-gurdy, the nurse, the first trip in a cab and the fear of thunderstorms.

I distinctly remember the clatter of hooves on the wet cobblestones — the first trip in a cab. Etched in memory: strong, sharp thunder, I tremble with fear, afraid that begins "doomsday" which I have heard from the nurse. «

Young Agnes adored father. Tolstoy was passionate about his work, in his younger years, he even went to fight with glanders, a contagious disease of horses in Siberia. Barto recalled that his father loved Krylov, read it aloud to his fable, almost all of which he knew by heart. Another favorite writer Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was. In his books, his father taught Agniyu small to read. Veterinarian Oxen loved art and wanted her daughter to become a ballerina, so at the same time studied at the gymnasium Agnes Ballet School. However, over the years, their creative zeal, she became more and more given to poetry.

Tolstoy was the chief critic of the listener and the daughter of poetry. However, the father does not always share her opinion. For example, he believed that the need to write «correctly», following the poetic dimension. A daughter of the last verse is constantly changing. My father thought it was stubbornness, but the cause was different. As she wrote to Agnes, «apparently it was dictated by inner necessity.» The dispute lasted for a father and daughter for many years, and only one and only time Leo conceded.

Question poetic rhythm poet Barto will face more than once. For the masterful handling of the Agniyu Lvovna will rebuke many literary critics. Poet is his many years of work and success among young readers has proven that willfulness is absolutely justified. It is often said that change the size of the child helps bring new interest and attention to the content of the poem. It is important to keep the theme music of the verse, its rhythmic discipline.

Unexpected turn

The first who advised Agnes to grips literature, became the People’s Commissar of Education Lunacharsky. Anatoly attended the final standings in the Ballet School, where Agnes was trained calves. After the tests, students showed a small concert. Black-eyed girl read a long poem of his own composition «Funeral March» to the music of Chopin. In this future poet took «appropriate tragic pose.» Later, she was told that Lunacharsky could hardly contain a smile as she performed that very offended Agniyu Lvovna. A few days later statesman invited the young graduate to the Commissariat. Anatoly said that listening to the «Funeral March», he realized: Agnes L. necessarily write funny poems. As a senior instructor Lunacharsky had a long talk with a young poet, and even compiled a list of books she had read. Barto recalled this event as one of the most important experiences of my youth.

In 1925, Agnes L. for the first time in the State Publishing House brought his poems. She was very surprised that the editor sent a young writer in the department of children’s literature. Barto recalled that the first years of her long doubted whether it is time to become her «adult» poet. While many writers and critics still perceived as the product of children’s literature of the second grade. However, some subsequent events changed the opinion of Agnes Barto.

At the celebration of children’s books «Knizhkin day,» she met her beloved poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. From «adult» poets he acted alone. Vladimir Vladimirovich was very excited when I read his poems on the open stage in Sokolniki. He respected the Soviet children, and worried whether they understand his poetry. The boys immediately took Mayakovsky, understood, and opened their hearts to him, prolonged loud applause. After the speech, Mayakovsky said that children need a new poetry, turned to the future citizen. «That’s the audience! For them, it is necessary to write! «- L. Agnes recalled the words of his idol, facing the three young poetess, one of which was herself. That meeting helped Agnes Barto understand much.

There was another case dispel doubts about the poet. In 1933, Maxim Gorky created a commission to study the literature for children. It consisted of including young writers. Agnes Lvovna instructed to report on the state of children’s drama. Gorky, being a busy man, still took the time and invited the poet to his home to discuss this important issue. This is how the meeting itself Agnes Barto wrote: «In a small office lined with bookshelves, the desk sat Gorky. It seemed to me that his big desk is nearly empty, so neatly stood inkstand lay manuscripts and books needed for the work. I was very worried, but gradually my whole stiffness disappeared. Gorky talked about how important it is to help social drama upbringing of the child, he spoke of a truly high art of the theater, which is necessary for children. That bitter with sincere attention, with such pride and admiration followed the Soviet children, finally approved my desire to become exactly "children’s poet"».

Agnes L. itself admitted that he had never felt like writing just for an audience of children. The poet believes that «the children’s poem is always drawn to the adult». As an example, it led folk tales, which usually have a hidden meaning, the child is not always clear; Similarly, in the children’s poems should be a subtext. The child grows, the poems are in his memory, and each year it opens them something new. Agnes L. was sure that the child should be a subject for reflection as its maturity.

Rights was Agniya Barto: her poems do not lose their popularity for many decades, and each generation finds in them something new and relevant for its time.


Not always poems Agnes Barto taken immediately. For example, the preserved record of the meeting at which it discussed the «Toys.» Then even the children’s poem was taken at the general meeting by a majority vote. «Toys» have been sharply criticized for complex rhyme.

In the report, it was stated: «… it is necessary to change the rhymes, they are difficult for the children’s poem.»

Agnes L. did not listen to advice and did not change the rhyme. Because of this compilation some time spent on the shelf. But «Toys» still saw the light and came out exactly in the version that the poet liked the most.

KI Chukovsky, Barto senior fellow in 1933 in the «Evening Moscow» has published the «toys» very positive response. While a review of children’s poems in the general press has been very rare.

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