Interesting facts about Marshak

One of the most popular children's poets Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak was born in 1887 in Voronezh into a poor Jewish family. His father, Yakov Mironovich, worked as a foreman at a local soap factory. The family often moved from one place to another. Marshak spent the first five years of his life in Voronezh, then the family moved to the city of Ostrogozhsk, Voronezh province. Later, Samuel had a chance to study at the 3rd gymnasium in St. Petersburg, and finished his studies in Yalta.

  1. Teachers of literature noted that the schoolboy Marshak had excellent literary abilities, calling him a child prodigy. In 1904, 17-year-old Marshak met Maxim Gorky, the Proletarian writer invited him to live at his dacha in Yalta, since the teenager was diagnosed with tuberculosis and the sea air was useful to him. Two years later, Samuel returned to his parents in St. Petersburg, where he began his literary career.
  2. One of the first to appreciate Marshak's talent was the literary critic Vladimir Stasov. Once meeting with Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, Stasov showed him a photo and poems of an aspiring poet. Tolstoy agreed that this is, of course, a child prodigy, but it is from them that something good in literature rarely comes out.
  3. In his youth, Samuel Marshak did not think about what he would write for children. He was engaged in journalism, and wrote poetry to order, often without even indicating his name. In 1912 he married Sophia Milvidskaya, and the newlyweds decided to leave for London, where Marshak became interested in English poetry and folklore. They returned to Russia after the outbreak of the First World War.
  4. Samuel Marshak was released from military service due to poor eyesight. Perhaps this saved his life, but soon a terrible tragedy came to the family - Marshak's one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Natanel scalded herself with boiling water from a samovar and died from the burns received. For the young father, this was a blow from which he could not move away for a long time. In memory of his daughter, he began to write children's poems and scripts, which soon became very popular in the country.
  5. Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak wrote one of his most famous poems, "This is how absent-minded, " in 1930. Moreover, the main character had a very real prototype - the famous chemist Ivan Alekseevich Kablukov. They say that the scientist was so absent-minded that he could forget his own first and last name. And Marshak's acquaintances claimed that the poet himself was in many ways similar to an absent-minded person from Basseinaya Street.
  6. In the works of Marshak, a large place is given to the theme of fire. The poet himself argued that this could be due to his early childhood. A fire broke out in the courtyard of the house in Voronezh, where the family lived at that time. For the future poet, this event became one of the most memorable events of the first years of his life.
  7. Marshak in the thirties was able to safely avoid the repressions to which many writers were subjected. Perhaps this was due to the fact that he wrote for children and tried not to touch on the topic of politics in his works. He received the Staolin Prize four times and the Lenin Prize once. At the same time, Marshak did not hide his friendship with Mikhail Zoshchenko, and later came out in defense of Brodsky and Solzhenitsyn.
  8. The Marshak family has produced many literary men. His brother Ilya and sister Leah, son Immanuel and grandson Alexander became the writers. But, undoubtedly, Samuil Yakovlevich became the most famous in this area.
  9. During the Great Patriotic War, Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak from his literary fees allocated large sums to the Defense Fund, as well as to open orphanages and boarding schools for the evacuees. For which he was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree and the medal "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945."
  10. The famous TV presenter Vladimir Pozner met Marshak in 1959. At this time, the young biology student Pozner became interested in translating poems by English poets. Some of them were read by Marshak and invited the aspiring poet-translator to become his literary secretary.
  11. The renowned American cartoonist Walt Disney decided to make a cartoon based on the play "Twelve Months". Marshak was summoned to the Cinema Committee for approval. This institution was headed by Ivan Bolshakov. But, on this day, he did not receive the famous poet, who waited for several hours. And, leaving, he left a note in the reception room with the following text: "You, comrade Bolshakov, do not have so many Marshaks!"
  12. Once a young mechanic came to Marshak's apartment to fix the phone. In a conversation with the poet, he timidly hinted that he also wrote poetry and read some of them. Marshak recommended these poems in the editorial offices of newspapers, and the fitter was Grigory Ladonshchikov, who later, thanks to Samuil Yakovlevich, became a famous children's poet.
  13. The Soviet poet Marshak also bore the title of an honorary citizen of Scotland. This was in recognition for his excellent translations of poetry by the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Thanks to Marshak, he became very popular in the Soviet Union. When Marshak died, a wreath made of heather was brought from Scotland.
  14. Chukovsky and Marshak were "sworn friends". There was intense competition between them, but the masters of children's literature always spoke respectfully of each other. Korney Chukovsky was with Marshak in the same sanatorium and helped him when Samuil Yakovlevich was seriously ill and he did not have long to live. Until his last days, Marshak, despite the terrible pains, continued to work on poems and translations, claiming that this helps him somehow to forget.
  15. Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak died on July 4, 1964 at the age of 76. He was buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy cemetery. Streets in many cities of the Soviet Union were named after him. And in 1987, a postage stamp was issued, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Marshak.
  16. An interesting story is told about Marshak. Once, while driving past the Kursk railway station with a driver, Marshak said that Anna Karenina had passed here before her death. The driver named Afanasy replied that he had never heard of Karenina. Outraged Marshak said that he would no longer sit with him in the car until Afanasy reads Tolstoy's novel. For fear of losing his job, the driver had to sit down to read the book, despite the fact that it seemed very large to him.