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Better with an empty sleeve…

This book published for the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet Mikhail Lukonin.

Works of Mikhail Lukonin and memories of him – in the edition for the 100th anniversary of the poet. Photo: RIA Novosti

Not so often we remember his name, as, indeed, his friends in life and poetry: Konstantin Simonov, Sergey Narovchatov, Konstantin Vanshenkin, etc.

“On the crest of years…” to some extent fills the gap in our knowledge about the front-line of poetry.

The authors of the memoirs emphasize the most characteristic features of Mikhail Kuzmich, manifested in the Finnish and the great Patriotic war, years of peace – the courage, spirit and poetic talent. Book – vector: she traces key moments of the life and work of the poet, filled with sincere emotions that are embodied in the piping line.

It’s not a memoir, and the outline of the personality of Mikhail Lukonin.

Despite the fact that the number of memoirs published in the past (and this is understandable, as since his death over forty years), they read like a revelation.

As well as the first published words about it by Bella Akhmadulina and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, poet Iraida Potekhina, Vladimir Mavrodieva, participants included in the history of the all-Union meeting of young writers in 1973.

The drafters, of course, did not aim to collect in one book the whole poetic baggage Mikhail Lukonin; but what was included in the collection, gives the opportunity to see the unusual shape of the poet.

He walked the path of his teacher, Vladimir Mayakovsky, but was on its way – finding their own voice.

His poetry is devoid confessions “wide open” – even in intimate lyrics with her strong sensuality.

It is open journalism, regardless of whether of war or “thaw” years.

Lukonin has been an outspoken co-sponsor of Poetry.

“Treasured thoughts” on modern poetry, a travel journal on the train Moscow – Khabarovsk (by the way, published for the first time), memoirs of contemporaries, interesting photos from the family archive of the widow Anna Antonenko-Lukonina and son Sergei Lukonin – genre diversity of the collection “On the crest of years…” we feel the breath of life and poetry.

And how not to recall its early line of the Finnish war:

In this glow the wind

The selection was small, –

But its better to come with an empty sleeve,

Than with an empty heart…

This is probably the best that is said about the war in General…

M. K. Lukonin On the crest of a… years: Poems, prose, memoirs]. Antonenko-Lukonina O. V., Lukonin, S. M. – M.: IPO “At Nikitsky gate”, 2018.