Nikolay Rubtsov (1936 – 1971), the famous Russian poet, was born in the village Emetsk of Arkhangelsk region.
Rubtsov's father was the chief of the forestry, his mother, Alexandra Mikhaylovna, was a housewife. There were six children in the family. During the war the two sisters and the mother of the future poet died in Vologda, the traces of the father were lost (for a long time Rubtsov believed that he had missed in action, but in the 1950’s they met).
In 1942 Rubtsov was sent to the children's home near Vologda, and in 1943 – in Nikolsky children's home of the Totemsky region of Vologda Oblast where he lived up to fourteen years old. Village Nikolskoe became a small native land of the poet: «Here is the native land of my soul!» – he wrote in the letter to A. Yashin. In 1950 Nikolay Rubtsov finished 7-year school, «studied in several technical schools, but didn't graduate fr om any of them. He worked at several factories and in Arkhangelsk trawling fleet, served four years on Northern fleet» (fr om his autobiography). From 1959 to 1962 Rubtsov lives in Leningrad, works on Kirovsky factory, participates in the literary life of the city.
In summer 1962, a friend of the poet, writer Boris Taygin, published the first typewritten poetic book by Rubtsov – «Waves and rocks». In the autumn of 1962, having finished without attending lectures secondary school, Rubtsov enters the M. Gorky Literary Institute in Moscow, transfers onto the part-time department later, lives basically in Vologda and in Nikolskoe.
In 1964 in magazine «October «the selection of his poems appeared, noticed by the critics the first Moscow book «Star of fields» (1967) brought him original popularity. In total during poet's life four collections of his poems were published: «Lyrics» (Arkhangelsk, 1965), «Star of fields» (М., 1967), «Soul keeps» (Arkhangelsk, 1969) and «Pine-trees noise» (М., 1970). Finally he settled in Vologda in 1967. He tragically died on the night of the Christening. The poet predicted the date of his own death in the poem «I shall die in bitter cold...».
Rubtsov managed to unite traditional style forms with language and thinking of the time, gave the modern language classical simplicity in its most complicated internal harmony. Poetic motives in Rubtsov's lyrics are a part of a complex system of associations: folklore, literary, common, contextual (in the texts of separate poems, in their cycle, in all creative work of the poet, in literary environment, etc.), including intuitive – mystical ones.
The uniting theme of his philosophical lyrics is not so original: sense of human life... Search of this sense, spiritual wandering across Russia –present and past – this is the original content of Rubtsov's poetry.
The name of the poet is given to one of the minor planets, streets in Vologda and Saint Petersburg, in Nikolskoe there's a museum of the poet, monuments to him are opened in the cities of Totma, Vologda, Cherepovets, Yemetsk. On the house № 3 along Yashin Street wh ere the poet lived and died, there is a memorial plate. The All-Russia literary award «Star of fields» is annually awarded, there operate Rubtsov's centers in Vologda, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Dzerzhinsk, Surgut and other cities, there carried out Rubtsov's days and scientific conferences.
V. N. Barakov
The open festival of poetry and music «Rubtsov's autumn», devoted to creative work of the one of the most famous Vologda land poets, was first held in 1998. Then in the oblast capital they opened a monument to Nikolay Rubtsov and since then there's a tradition of meetings on the Soviet prospect wh ere people read verses, sing songs and recall our fellow countryman.
Gradually «Rubtsov's autumn» expanded the borders: readings at a monument have developed into the festival which is becoming known in and outside our oblast. Now it is a big festival which lasts for several days.