Moscow; Leningrad: Gos. izd-vo, 1927. Item #1335
128,  pp. 19,8x13,5 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Previous owner’s pencil inscription on the title-page. Otherwise near fine.
Scarce. First edition. 1 of 2,000 copies. Geometrical wrapper design echoes avant-garde tendencies prevalent among supremacist and modernist artists of the late 1910s.
This is the second collection of poems printed by the noted Soviet leftist poet Semyon Kirsanov (1906-1972) in 1927. The book came out a few years after Kirsanov’s relocation to Moscow and is often regarded as the author’s magnum opus. The edition consists of two sections, “Lyric Poetry” and “Ballads”, and houses 40 works by the poet. The collection brought Semyon a widespread recognition and was particularly praised for the masterful use and revelation of language possibilities. The edition opens with a poem dedicated to Vladimir Mayakokvsky, whom the author met in 1925 in his native Odessa. Upon moving to Moscow the same year, Kirsanov began an apprenticeship with Mayakovsky and the poet Nikolay Aseev and, in the public
imagination, inherited his mentor’s torch after Mayakovsky’s death in 1930.
One of the last Soviet futurists, Kirsanov wrote his first poem Smeshno, kak budto zhizn’ dana [i.e. It’s Funny, as if Life is Given] in Odessa in 1916. From the early years, Kirsanov actively propagated avantgarde tendencies in literature and was the organizing force behind the Southern Association of Futurists (1921). In 1926, Semyon published his first collection of poems Pritsel. Rasskazy v rifmu [i.e. Aim. Stories in Rhyme], which was followed by his most famous work Opyty [i.e. Experiments] a year later. Having achieved widespread fame, Kirsanov together with Alexander Bezymensky, Vladimir Lugovsky, and Ilya Selvinsky, traveled abroad for public appearances in Prague and Paris in 1935. At the beginning of World War II, Kirsanov led the literary brigade in the TASS Windows organized on his initiative and in June 1941 volunteered for the front where he took part in the liberation of Sevastopol and Riga. After demobilization in 1945, Semyon published few collections of poems and actively participated in foreign literary conferences. Among 64 books issued by the author, Slovo predostavlyaetsya Kirsanovu [i.e. The Word Belongs to Kirsanov] (1930) went down in history as a masterpiece of Soviet book design for Solomon Telinganter’s constructivist layout.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition in Harvard University, Columbia University Libraries, New York Public Library, Yale University, Ohio State University, University of Notre Dame, University of North Carolina, Stanford University, and University of California.