Margarita Aliger (Zeyliger) - biography
Margarita Iosifovna Aliger (October 7 [O.S. September 24] 1915 - August 1, 1992) was a famous Soviet poet, translator, and journalist.
She was born in Odessa in the family of office-employees. As a teenager she worked at a chemical plant. From 1934 to 1937 she studied at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute. The main themes of her poetry are the heroism of Soviet people during the industrialization ("The year of birth", 1938; "Railroad", 1939; "Stones & grass", 1940) and during World War II ("Lyrics", 1943).
The peak of her creative work is the poem "Zoya" (1942) about a famous Russian heroine Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, a young girl killed by Nazis. This work was one of the most popular poems during the Soviet era. From 1940 to 1950, the poetry of Aliger was characterised by a mix of optimistic semi-official verses ("Leninskie mountains", 1953), and those poems in which Aliger tried to analyse the situation in her country in a realistic way ("Your Victory", 1944 - 1945). Aliger wrote numerous essays and articles about Russian literature and her impressions on travelling ("On poetry & poets", 1980; "The returning from Chile", 1966).