Leningrad Siege: When poetry aids in survival

Published in Russia Beyond the Headlines on February 23, 2013

Berggolts lived in the city during the blockade and broadcast her poems to bolster the populace. Knowing that she was on the other end of a microphone, barricaded like them, gave Leningraders something resembling hope.

After all, amid shelling and starvation, she was still writing poems. And she would recite these poems, about the suffering, about the fear, about the horror of death, and the unbearable lives they were living.

In a film called “Day Stars,” (Igor Talankin, 1968) Berggolts is depicted as reciting to soldiers: “Mother worries, grieves/ What should I write my distant mother?/ How to reassure her/to lie?”

Read the full article Leningrad Siege: When poetry aids in survival Source” in Russia Behind the Headlines