Commentary to the poem-song “Forty-Nine Days”.
This poem-song was written as a literary text, where the stamps of the Soviet press and official poetry were parodied. The plot of it is based on a real event: in 1960, four Soviet servicemen were carried away by storm from Iturup Bay into the open ocean on a barge, and after futile searches they were reported missing, but they managed to survive and after a 49-day drift were picked up by an American vessel.
But on the other hand, these servicemen — the junior sergeant Askhat Ziganshin and the privates Philip Poplavsky, Anatoly Kryuchkovsky and Ivan Theodotov — symbolize the four major religions of the world — Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism respectively. The duration of the test that fell to them indicates that this test was sent down from above, and this is exactly the time we live in.
The poem-song was written in 1960.