One summer we went on holiday to my Grandmother's home. There were some old books on Grandmother's shelves. Early in the mornings I saw my father taking one of these old books out into the garden where he could read it alone. Now I understand that he was reading the Bible, though I would have been upset had I known that at the time. During that holiday Dad told us wonderful stories about David and Goliath, about the Prodigal Son, about the wise King Salomon and other stories. The most touching was the story about the Prodigal Son. I remember Dad telling us about the eternal love of the father, and as he spoke I saw tears shining in his eyes. I enjoyed Dad's stories very much because I did not know what they were. Even though I was a small boy, I am not sure that my attitude would not have been the same if I had known these stories were from the forbidden book Bible that was just for crazy people.
Dad did all kinds of interesting things with my brothers, cousins and me. He liked poetry very much and was able to read by hart poems of his beloved poets all day long. He enjoyed dipping us in the beautiful world of poetic sounds and rhymes. He was sure that poetry is not only beauty, but also has special therapeutic influence on the human body, especially on the child's body. He told us that many famous scientists and medical doctors were poets and many scientific works of old scientists were written in a poetic way. His beloved chemist Lomonosov wrote very elegant poems and Dad liked to read them by heart as well as sonnets of William Shakespeare and poems of George Gordon Byron, Robert Burns, and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Once Dad with his colleagues was on the business trip in a small town Balakovo on the Volga River. They had to return back by a ship, but the ship was late for 10 hours, so all the passengers that were going to Saratov by that ship had to wait for a very long time at the river port. And during these 10 hours Dad was reciting poetry for his colleagues and passengers waiting for a ship. Dad's colleagues told me that it was the most interesting and exciting queue in their life. People from the queue were listening with great interest and respect, asked some questions and Dad was glad to answer the questions about the poetry and the life.
I discovered that it was very easy for him also to write verses. He pushed us to write poems ourselves. Sometimes we wrote poems in "four or even eight hands", Dad helped us to find rhymes and exciting words for our poetic images. Sometimes he started the poems and asked us to continue it. He did not expect that we could become great poets, but he was sure that poetry was good for us, that it could help us more easy accept natural subjects and math. He trained us to write letters to each other and to our friends in poetry, it was a kind of discipline, an exercise for our brains. He was sure that versification could build child's individuality, and also physical health. He tired to convince my Mother who was a medical doctor that he was never tired when he read poems, never felt pain and his blood pressure came into the normal way when he wrote poetry.
Under Dad's influence I wrote a lot of poems on different subjects and on different events. Every year after summer vacations I had a heavy notebook full of my own poetry. I am not sure that these notebooks were an example of high poetry, better to say that it was my own dairy written in verses for me, not for readers, about the things that were interesting for me at the moment. But now it is very clear for me that this versification was very important for training of my brains, a good exercise to improve writing abilities during vacations.
I received from my Dad special love towards poetry. When I started to read the Bible I really enjoyed the poetic energy of Bible script. I realise that David, Solomon, John, Matthew, Luke, Mark - were brilliant poets: the Lord gave them wonderful poetic abilities and made them to write really high poetry, that helps to find the way to the truth…