INBER, VERA MIKHAILOVNA


INBER, VERA MIKHAILOVNA (1890–1972), Soviet Russian poet. She was born and educated in Odessa and spent the years 1910–14 abroad. Her writings date back to 1911, when she joined the Acmeists, an anti-symbolist group of modernist lyric poets, which also numbered in its ranks Osip *Mandelshtam. After the Revolution she went over to the militantly civic-minded Communist romantic group known as the Constructivists, led by Ilya *Selvinski, but only joined the Communist Party in 1943. Vera Inber's best-known work is Pulkovski Meridian ("The Pulkovo Meridian," 1943), a classical, restrained poem of some 800 lines, which ranks as one of the best long poems on the theme of war in Soviet literature. The work depicts the siege of Leningrad, where she was a war correspondent between 1941 and 1944, and the heroism of its defenders. The same event inspired a book of essays, Pochti tri goda ("Almost Three Years," 1945), for which she was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1946. Another important book is the collection of literary essays titled Vdokhnoveniye i masterstvo ("Inspiration and Craftsmanship," 1957). Though no trailblazing innovator, Vera Inber is considered one of the more interesting of the Soviet poets of her generation. In contrast to many of her contemporaries, it appears she was virtually unaffected by her Jewish childhood: Jewish themes are absent from her work with the exception of some "illegal" poems whose attribution to her cannot be definitely confirmed.

[Maurice Friedberg]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.