Preface in Russian

        I was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, in 1936. In 1943, while my father was still fighting in WWII, my family returned to the ruined city.

        I graduated from Kharkov Poitechnicum and moved to the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. I got my PhD from Moscow Mendeleyev Institute and taught chemistry at  the Krasnoyarsk Institute of Technology. Siberia was the background of all my professional life in Russia.

        I became a chemist, but I was always interested in a lot of other things and I felt equally comfortable in sciences and humanities. Serious music—classical and of  the 20th century—was  my biggest infatuation.Yuri Tarnopolsky, 1971
        In 1971, I spent four months in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg. I lived far uptown, in the neighborhood of Sosnovaya Polyana ("Pine Glade" in English). After long wandering  around the majestic city filled with shadows of history, I started writing poems and could not stop until 1984. I never tried to publish my poems, most of which were politically incorrect in Communist Russia. Rejecting compromises, I could agree only to all or nothing.

        The reader may find in my poems a naive mix of Christian and Jewish themes. My very first religious book in atheist Russia was the Buddhist Dhammapadha (or here ).   It deeply imprinted me for life.  Five years later, at the age of 25,  I accidentally found the Gospels.  I managed to get access to the Bible only at 40. At 45, I learned about the Judaism of  Talmud. "Jew"  in Soviet Russia meant not religion but ethnicity.

        In the 70’s, the Soviet Jews were already packing for Israel and USA, but I was far from such intent in Siberia, where anti-Semitism was somewhat low key. In 1976, however, I learned that I had been under KGB surveillance because of ties with my high school friend who was about to emigrate. I realized  that I had to budge. Next year I moved with my daughter to Kharkov, my wife joined me later, but when we applied for exit visas, the refusal—prohibition on emigration—closed all doors for eight years.

        I could not wait quietly and became a refusenik activist. In 1983 I was arrested and sent for three years to a Siberian labor camp in Chita, 1000 miles east of  Krasnoyarsk. I took no part in investigation and trial.

        We came to America in 1987. New life required all my energy. I worked as indusrial research scientist, read a lot, got interested in world history, but could not come back to Russian poetry. I tried to write in English (see Neighborhood).

        My book Memoirs of 1984, written in English, was published in 1993(see Chapter 1).

       Unfinished Journey by Nancy Rosenfeld (1993) describes some unexpected American and French repercussions of my story.

        While I was in the labor camp, some of my poems were published in France and Israel. In 1985, I shared the Liberty Prize of French PEN Club with Irina Ratushinskaya.

         I believe that poetry is everything what is not prose. Poetry is fuzzy and impractical. It imposes on poets, however, an impossible and cruel restriction: to speak the language not spoken in everyday life, and moreover, never spoken before. Yuri Tarnopolsky,
       It was very hard to preserve the poems and smuggle them out of Russia. I owe that to Mikhail Berman and, especially, Tanya Ioffe.

  I  retired in 1999. My current interests lie in the field of  Pattern Theory.   See COMPLEXITY and SIMPLICITY

     Yuri Tarnopolsky, 2016
What is my website about? Quoting my Essay 60, Art and Nexistence, it is about "my personal life long obsession with Everything and what unifies the natures of Things and humans, as well as what makes them different."  

Narragansett,  2000 - 2016.