Samuil Yakovlevich Marshak is a Soviet poet, playwright, critic and translator. He also received the Lenin Prize in 1963 and the four Stalin Prizes in 1942, 1946, 1949 and 1951. Marshak also signed several pseudonyms – Doctor Friken, Weller, S. Kuchumov, S. Yakovlev and others.
Marshak was born in Voronezh in 1887 and lived to be 76 years old and ended his life and career on July 4, 1964. The first years of Samuel Yakovlevich’s work were spent near Voronezh in Ostrogozhsk, where he also studied at the gymnasium, then moved to the 3rd St. Petersburg gymnasium. and Yalta. Furthermore, some teachers even thought that Marshak was a prodigy. After 1904, the writer’s family moved to Crimea, from where they were later deported due to the Tsarist regime’s oppression of the Jews. Samuil Yakovlevich lived in Finland, Petrozavodsk, Leningrad and helped with the Great Patriotic War, gathering troops and defending the city.
Samuil Yakovlevich is the author of a large number of children’s stories and fairy tales. These are “Twelve Months”, “Rainbow Bows”, “Clever Things”, “Cat House”, “A Tale of a Stupid Mouse”, “About Two Neighbors”, “Why the Cat Was Called a Cat”, “Equal Ring”, “Poodle” , “Luggage”, “Good Day”, “Furrier Cat”, “Moonlight Evening”, “Brave Men”, “Conversation” and many others.
The writing of children’s stories was also influenced by Samuil Yakovlevich’s collaboration with the famous folklorist Olga Kapitsa, who in the first half of the 20th century worked at the Institute of Kindergarten Education and participated in the publication of kindergarten books, newspapers, and magazines.
They are not directly related to stories, but nonetheless, the satire “Mister Twister” and “So Scattered” are an integral part of Marshak’s work. Samuil Yakovlevich’s poem “The Story of an Unknown Hero” was very much appreciated and is now well received.
The writer’s creativity was also recognized during his lifetime. Then for “Twelve Months” in 1946, Marshak won the Second Stalin Prize and for collecting children’s stories – the same prize, but in the first degree in 1951. Later – in 1963 – the books “Selected Texts”, short stories and fairy tales “A Quiet Tale”, Samuil Yakovlevich won the Lenin Prize for “Who Will Find the Ring”, “Big Pocket”, “Wax Blot”, “Adventures on the Road”, “From One to Ten” and “Calm Down”.
Marshak’s work was published in many publications during his lifetime – in the children’s magazine “Sparrow”, “Chizh”, “Literary circle”, in the magazine “Pravda” and many others. In addition to his own stories, Samuel Yakovlevich translated numerous foreign works by Burns, Blake, Wordsworth, Kipling, J. Austin and many others throughout his life. And the Scottish authorities, who greatly appreciated Robert Burns’ translations, even gave the Soviet writer the title of honorary citizen of the country.