Robert Rozhdestvensky; Poet Honored by Soviet Union
Robert Rozhdestvensky, 62, a prominent poet in the former Soviet Union whose words were often set to music. His first poem was published in 1941 when he was 9 years old, and his first collection of poems, “Flags of Spring,” was published 15 years later. In the 1960s, he became prominent when leading Soviet composers--Alexandra Pakhmutova, Arno Babadzhanyan, Boris Mokroysov, David Tukhmanov, Yan Frenkel, Oskar Fetsman and Nikita Bogoslovsky--composed songs to his verses. One of his best-known poems is “Requiem,” published in 1961. Rozhdestvensky hosted a television documentary program for years and was a member of the World Peace Council and the Soviet Peace Committee. He was awarded the U.S.S.R. State Prize for his poem “210 Steps” in 1978 and for the “Voice of the City” collection in 1983. On Aug. 19 in Moscow of a heart attack.