Faith to Poetry
Sergey Orlov’s life was always associated with literature and poetry.
Young Sergey read books of both Russian and foreign writers enthusiastically. No wonder that he wrote his first poems being a fifth grade pupil already.
There was a literature team in the Belozersk demonstration school and Sergey Orlov was its member. From 1937, he began publishing his poems in the Belozersk Collective Farm Worker newspaper and in regional periodicals.
In 1938, he won the all-Russia best poem competition among school students.
Having graduated from the 10 grade high school in Belozersk, Sergey Orlov entered the History and Philology Department of the Petrozavodsk State University. His first book of poems was burnt together with the publishing house in Petrozavodsk where page proofs were laying in September 1941 when Finnish troops began their attacks and when our seventh army was split into three parts and pincered.
When Sergey Orlov was studying at the armor school in Chelyabinsk in 1942, he and his friend Sergey Telkanov, another young writer, managed to issue a small-size book of poems which had a simple name – The Front. Such simple names were traditional for that period of time.
The collection of frontline poems, The Third Speed, was issued in 1946. This book contained poems on severe military campaigns, heroism of tank operators, frontline brotherhood. The poet was generally recognized due to this book.
In 1947, Sergey Orlov became a member of the USSR Writers Guild. In 1954, he graduated from the Maksim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, continued leading the Poetry Department of the Neva magazine, published his poems in other publications, was elected as a member of the Leningrad Writers Organization Board. Sergey was elected as a deputy of the Leningrad Council of Workers’ Deputies several times.
His books of poetry were issued one after another: The Campaign Going On (1948), The Rainbow in the Plain (1952), The Town (1953), Poems (1954), The Voice of the First Love (1958), Poems. 1938-1956 (1959), One Love (1963), The Lark (1964), The Wheel and The Star Pattern (1965), Lyrics (1966), The Page (1969).
Every Sergey Orlov’s visit to his hometown was a big event in the literary circles in Vologda: he performed at poetry parties at the Pedagogical University, at different companies, met young writers and poets. Many of Sergey Orlov’s friends also visited Belozersk to see how hundreds of people gathered at the square to hear talented poets from the capital reciting their poems.
In the postwar period, poets had to be no less courageous than during the previous years… The significant event for all frontline writers and poets was the First All-Russia Meeting of Young Writers. Its organizers were the Writers Guild of the USSR and the Central Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League. Sergey Orlov was its member as well. Thanks to meeting his brothers of the quill, Sergey Orlov became stronger and more confident. His name was now known to other people participating in that meeting.
Many poems of the 1950-1960s were written by Sergey Orlov as a result of his trips and journeys. The poet visited almost all republics of the Soviet Union and foreign countries such as Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Vietnam, etc. Such trips were rather time consuming and challenging but enriched the poet at the same time due to meetings with new people and new impressions. Just in 1961, he visited Baku, Latvia, Buryatia, Moldavia, Novorossiysk. And he performed, gave interviews, wrote everywhere…
The following poems are examples of poetry writing of that period: A Hot Summer Appeared in My Dreams… (1952), First Love Poems (1954), May 9, 1945 (1955), The Voice of the First Love (1956), The Acropolis (1956), My Homeland (1957), The Old Picture (1958), Who Was the First One to Tell Me About Her? (1958), The Cabbage Soup, Mopping (1958), Dionysius, Fairytales About Dionysius (1962), One Love (1959), etc.
Sergey Orlov moved to Moscow in 1970 after being elected as a Secretary of the USSR Writers Guild Board. He also became a member of the Lenin and State Prize Committee in Literature, Architecture and Arts of the Council of Ministers of the USSR at that period. Sergey Orlov’s activities in the administration office were very active. He met young writers, helped frontline poets, organized meetings of Russian writers, went abroad, had meetings with soldiers and military officers of different military bases, arranged poetry parties upon requests of workers and clerisy, prepared his new books of poems for publication…
His book The Faith was awarded the Maksim Gorky State Prize in 1974. Sergey Orlov wished all readers were faithful successors of great deeds of our people. It is the key idea of this book. This small book of poems is full of love to his birthplace, White Lake, Russian old times, thoughts about high value of a human life, people seeking for creative works, creativity and peace.
Sergey Orlov’s book Fires which he wrote as his final one was published after his death (1978). He did not see his collected edition either. It was issued in the 1970-1980s.
Sergey Orlov is one of the most famous and appreciated writers in the Vologda region.