The business of art lies just in this--to make that understood and felt which, in the form of an argument, might be incomprehensible and inaccessible. - Leo Tolstoy
Michael Alexandrovich Zenkevich (1886 - 1973)
Michael Alexandrovich Zenkevich was born on May 9, 1886 in the town Nikolaevsky Gorodok in the Saratov province, into the family of a math teacher at Marinsky Agricultural Community College. In 1904, Michael graduated from Saratov Boys School Number 1. For the next 2 years he studied philosophy in the universities of Berlin and Vienna. In 1914 he graduated from the Legal College of Petersburg University.
In 1906, Zenkevich's first poetic publication was published in the magazine "Life". In 1914, a book of poems entitled "Wild Purple" was published. In 1918, the collection "Fourteen Poems" was published.
In 1918, he began working for the newspaper "Saratov News". Later in 1919, he joined a writer's union.
From 1919 to 1922, he served in the Red Army as Secretary of the Regimental Court and a lecturer on infantry weaponry. During this time his collection "Flame of Tanks" was published (1921).
In 1923, Zenkevich moved to Moscow and established permanent residence there. He worked in various publishing houses, translated, and wrote "Under the Steamboat's nose" in 1926, "Late Flight" in 1928, the poem "Machine Toil" in 1931, and "Selected Poems" in 1932. In 1933 he prepared the biographical book "Bratia Rite" for the "Lives of Remarkable People" series.
The last of Zenekvich's poetic colletions were
"Collection of Altitude", published in 1937, and "Through the Thunder of Years, published in 1962. In 1971 he was awarded the Order of the Red Workers Flag.