Poet Alexander Kochetkov: biography and creativity

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Poet Alexander Kochetkov: biography and creativity
Poet Alexander Kochetkov: biography and creativity

Poet Alexander Kochetkov is best known to readers (and moviegoers) for his poem "Don't part with your loved ones". From this article you can find out the biography of the poet. What other works are noteworthy in his work and how did Alexander Kochetkov's personal life develop?


Alexander Sergeevich Kochetkov was born on May 12, 1900 in the Moscow region. The literal birthplace of the future poet is the Losinoostrovskaya junction station, since his father was a railway worker and the family's home was located right behind the station. You can often see the erroneous mention of the poet's patronymic - Stepanovich. However, the incomplete namesake of the poet - Alexander Stepanovich Kochetkov - is a cameraman and a completely different person.

In 1917, Alexander graduated from the gymnasium in Losinoostrovsk. Even then, the young man was fond of poetry, and therefore entered the Faculty of Philology at Moscow State University. During his studies, he met the then-famous poets Vera Merkurieva and Vyacheslav Ivanov, who became his poetic mentors and teachers.


Having graduateduniversity, Alexander Kochetkov began working as a translator. The works that he translated from Western and Eastern languages were widely published in the twenties. In his translation, poems by Schiller, Beranger, Gidash, Corneille, Racine, as well as Eastern epics and German novels are known. Kochetkov's own lyrics, which included many works, were published only once during the poet's lifetime, in the amount of three poems included in the almanac "Golden Zurna". This collection was printed in Vladikavkaz in 1926. Alexander Kochetkov was the author of adult and children's poetry, as well as several plays in verse, such as "Free Flemings", "Copernicus", "Nadezhda Durova".

Poet Alexander Kochetkov
Poet Alexander Kochetkov

Private life

In 1925, Alexander Sergeevich married a native of Stavropol, Inna Grigoryevna Prozriteleva. The couple had no children. Since Alexander's parents died early, his father-in-law and mother-in-law replaced his father and mother. The Kochetkovs often came to visit Stavropol. Inna's father was a scientist, he founded the main local history museum of the Stavropol Territory, which exists to this day. Alexander sincerely loved Grigory Nikolaevich, Inna wrote in her notes that they could talk all night long, since they had a lot of common interests.

The poet with his wife and her parents
The poet with his wife and her parents

Friendship with Tsvetaeva

Kochetkov was a great friend of the poetess Marina Tsvetaeva and her son Georgy, affectionately nicknamed Moore - they were introduced by Vera Merkurieva in 1940. ATIn 1941, Tsvetaeva and Moore stayed at the dacha of the Kochetkovs. George went to swim in the Moscow River and almost drowned, he was saved by Alexander who arrived in time. This strengthened the friendship of the poets. During the evacuation, Marina Tsvetaeva could not decide for a long time whether to go with her son to Turkmenistan with the Kochetkovs or to stay and wait for the evacuation from the Literary Fund. After the death of the poetess, the Kochetkovs moved Moore with them to Tashkent.


Alexander Kochetkov died on May 1, 1953, at the age of 52. There is no information about the cause of his death and the fate of his family. Until 2013, the place of his burial remained unknown, however, a group of enthusiasts calling themselves the "Necropolis Society" found an urn with the ashes of the poet in one of the cells of the columbarium at the Donskoy cemetery.

Ashes of Kochetkov in the columbarium near Moscow
Ashes of Kochetkov in the columbarium near Moscow

Don't part with your loved ones…

Alexander Kochetkov's poem "The Ballad of a Smoky Carriage", better known as "Don't Part With Your Loved Ones", was written in 1932. The inspiration was a tragic incident in the poet's life. This year, Alexander and Inna visited her parents in the city of Stavropol. Alexander Sergeevich needed to leave, but Inna, who did not want to part with her husband and parents, persuaded him to return the ticket and stay at least a few more days. Yielding to the persuasion of his wife, on the same day the poet was horrified to learn that the train on which he had changed his mind about riding had derailed and crashed. His friends died, and those who were waiting for Alexander in Moscow,They were certain that he was dead. Having safely reached Moscow three days later, in the very first letter Kochetkov sent Inna his "Ballad of a Smoky Carriage":

- How painful, dear, how strange, Affiliated in the ground, intertwined with branches, -

How painful, dear, how strange

Break under the saw.

The wound on the heart will not heal, Shed clean tears, The wound on the heart will not heal -

It will spill with fiery resin.

- As long as I'm alive, I'll be with you

Soul and blood are inseparable, As long as I'm alive, I'll be with you

Love and death are always together.

You take it everywhere with you

You will carry with you, my love, You take it everywhere with you

Homeland, sweet home.

- But if I have nothing to hide with

From incurable pity, But if I have nothing to hide with

From cold and darkness?

- There will be a meeting after parting, Forget me not, love, After parting there will be a meeting, We'll both be back - me and you.

- But if I disappear without a trace

Short beam daylight, But if I vanish without a trace

Beyond the star belt, into milky smoke?

- I will pray for you, So as not to forget the path of the earth, I will pray for you, May you return unharmed.

Shaking in a smoky car, He became homeless and humble, Shaking in a smoky car, He was half crying, half asleep, When the composition is on slipperyslope

Suddenly twisted into a terrible roll, When the train is on a slippery slope

Tore the wheel off the rail.

Inhuman strength, In one winepress, crippling everyone, Inhuman strength

Earthly dropped from the ground.

And didn't protect anyone

The promised meeting is far away, And didn't protect anyone

A hand calling from afar.

Don't part with your loved ones!

Don't part with your loved ones!

Don't part with your loved ones!

Grow into them with all your blood, And every time forever goodbye!

And every time forever goodbye!

And every time forever goodbye!

When you leave for a moment!


Despite the fact that the first publication of the poem took place only in 1966, the ballad was known, having spread through acquaintances. During the war years, this poem became an unspoken folk anthem during evacuations, the poems were retold and rewritten by heart. The literary critic Ilya Kukulin even expressed the opinion that the poet Konstantin Simonov could have written the popular military poem "Wait for me" under the impression of the "Ballad". Above is a photo of Alexander with his wife and her parents, taken in Stavropol on the fateful day of the train crash.

The poem gained particular popularity ten years after its publication, when Eldar Ryazanov included its performance by Andrey Myagkov and Valentina Talyzina in his film "The Irony of Fate, or With a Lightferry!".

Also, the playwright Alexander Volodin's play "Don't part with your loved ones" was named after a line from "Ballad", as well as a film of the same name, based on the play in 1979.