Last night I watched a fascinating program on TV about child geniuses. One little chap as young as two and a half had amazing mathematical ability. Other children showed their brilliance in music, chess, computer programming and so on.
But the young Russian poet, Nika Turbina, stole the show with an amazingly emotional rendition of her own poetry.
She didn’t look more than about 6 as she read or rather declaimed her sad poems to a rapt audience. I couldn’t understand a word as it was in Russian but she was so passionate in her presentation that I found myself quite riveted.
It’s said that gazing out of a window at the age of 4 she astonished her mother with: ”Crimson moon, crimson moon, look in through the dark window at me. The room is black. The corners are black. Black houses. And black – I myself.”
Nika wrote a book of poetry between the ages of 5 and 8. When she was about 8 years old she read some of her poems to the famous Russian poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. ”Only poets can read like that,” was his observation.
At the age of 12 at a reading of her poems in America she commented ”It takes a lot of energy and strength. When I read a poem I re-feel all the emotion that went into it; every word evokes the pain as when I wrote it.”
On the program I watched, it was suggested that the brain of a child prodigy was considerably advanced in one particular area and that this produced an imbalance of sorts.
The interesting thing is that most of these children lost some of their superiority in one way or another when they grew up. Some of them had problems adapting socially.
Sadly, when Nika grew up, she suffered from loneliness and was unable to have a normal social life. She committed suicide when she was in her twenties.
If anyone can find a photo of her handwriting please contact me so that I can write up and post a description of her personality here.