On a Poem by Jan Satunovsky

2022. № 4, 100-106

School No. 57

(Russia, Moscow)



The article is devoted to the analysis of a poem by Jan Satunovsky. Jacob Abramovich Satunovsky (1913-1982) is Russian poet, a participant of the World War II, who made signifi cant impact on the development of contemporary Russian poetry. However, during his lifetime, many of his poems were not published in Soviet Union, with an exception of poems for children.

The poem, to which the article is devoted was written in 1939 and published in 1974 in samizdat collected works in three volumes, entitled “Selected works” (a run of 7 copies):

Yesterday, running late for work, / I met a woman / crawling on the ice, / I helped her up, and then suddenly thought: - Idi / ot!, what if she is a public enemy? / Suddenly! Or maybe the other way around? / What if she’s a friend? Or, so to say, a layman? / An ordinary old woman in a shabby jacket, / One never knows!

This poem may seem clumsy, inept, lacking rhythm and rhyme. However, it is masterfully lined up. Detailed Analysis of lexical, grammatical and phonetic features and comparison to other poems with similar theme or sound helps to appreciate both the originality of poetic language of an outstanding author and the complexity of Intonation and meaning of the poem. 

For citation:

Shapiro N.A. On a Poem by Jan Satunovsky. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2022. No. 4. Pp. 100–106. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170021747-0