Inber, Vera (1890–1972)

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Inber, Vera (1890–1972)

Russian poet, writer, and journalist. Born Vera Mikhaylovna Inber in 1890 in Odessa, Russia; died in 1972; daughter of a publisher and a teacher.

Selected writings:

Bitter Delight (1917); Fleeting Words (1922); The Goal and the Journey (1925); To the Non-Existent Son (1927); (short story) "Garlic in His Suitcase" (1927); (short story) "Death on theMoon" (1928); (travel notes) America in Paris (1928); Travel Diary (1939); (essay) "On Leningrad Children" (1942–43); Almost Three Years (1946, about the siege of Leningrad, published in English as Leningrad Diary); Waterway (1951); (short story) "How I Was Little" (1953); Inspiration and Mastery (1957); April (1960).

Vera Inber was born in 1890 in Odessa, Russia, to a publisher father and a mother who taught Russian. Inber visited Western Europe often, and her first work of poetry was published in Paris. Before the Russian Revolution in 1917, she wrote light verse, such as her volume of poetry Melancholy Wine (1914), and was influenced by the personal nature of Anna Akhmatova 's works.

In the 1920s, Inber became part of the constructivist movement and applied constructivist technological symbolism and utilitarian theory to her poetry. Much of her work of the 1920s and 1930s dealt with Moscow, the Revolution, and Vladimir Lenin. She also wrote short stories during these years that depicted the clash between old and new Soviet life, as shown in "Nightingale and Rose" (published in North American Review in 1924). Memories of Inber's youth found their way into her work, and many of these stories also dealt with children and were often written from a child's perspective. Inber also wrote for the theater, including a verse comedy titled Mother's Union (1938), and opera librettos. During World War II, she became a member of the Communist Party and began producing the patriotic works that would bring her renown.

In 1941, she and her husband, a doctor, moved to Leningrad to work during the 900-day siege of the city by the German army. Her poem "Pulkovo Meridian" (1941), in which she details daily life in Leningrad during the siege, won a Stalin Prize in 1946. After the war, Vera Inber continued to live in Leningrad; she died in 1972.

Karina L. Kerr , M.A., Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Inber, Vera (1890–1972)

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