Man leaves the world with open hands, as if to say, 'I take nothing with me.'

Midrash Ecclesiastes R. 5:14

Iosif Utkin -biography

Iosif Pavlovich Utkin (Иосиф Павлович Уткин; 28 May [O.S. 13 May] 1903 – 13 November 1944) was a Russian poet from the World War II generation like Pavel Kogan and Semyon Gudzenko.

He was born on 13 May at the station of Khingan of Chinese Eastern Railway, which his parents were helping to construct. After the birth of the son the family returned to their native city Irkutsk, where the future poet lived until 1920. He studied in the three-year primary school, then in the four-year middle school, from the last class of which he was excluded for the poor behavior and the free-thinking. He had to work; so he worked as a marker at a tannery, was selling newspapers, delivered telegrams. In 1919 during the anti-Kolchak uprising in Irkutsk he became a member of the Workers Guard (Communist guerrillas) until the re-establishment of the Soviet power. In 1920 he enlisted as a volunteer with the first group of Irkutsk Komsomol members for the Soviet Far East Front. In the army he was a field informant, military commissar of march companies, military commissar of repair shops.

In 1922 he worked as a reporter for the newspaper "Power to Labor", then for the Provincial Committee of Komsomol: a secretary of Komsomol newspaper, political instructor for pre-induction trainees. In 1924 he was sent to study im Moscow into the Institute for Journalism. Since 1922 he had published his poems in the Siberian press, and on the arrival to Moscow he was published in Moscow. In 1925 his first book '"Story about the Redhead Motele..."' ("Повесть о рыжем Мотэле...") was published, and in 1926 - his first book of poems. From 1925 he worked in Komsomolskaya Pravda. After graduating from his Institute in 1927, he was sent along with the poets Zharov and Bezymensky abroad, where stayed two months.

In 1928 he wrote and published poem Dear Childhood. Since the beginning of the German-Soviet War he departs to front. Under Bryansk, he was injured, and been treated in Tashkent. There he Wrote the book I saw it myself, verses from which he read to the editorial staff of Komsomolskaya Pravda. In spite of the opinions of his physicians he returned to the front, although as a result of injury he were deprived of four fingers on the right hand. He participated in the combat, wrote song-marches. Many of his verses became songs, been popular at the front. Returning from the front on 13 November 1944, I.Utkin perished in the air crash.






Article author: Zipora Galitski
Article tags: biography
The article is about these people:   Iosif Utkin

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