Dictators HobbiesStalin and Mao Tse Tung were both prolific writers of poetry. Stalin's work was published anonymously and was all written in his earlier years as he could not find time to write later on. When Lavrenti Beria secretly had Boris Pasternak and other noted translators prepare a Russian edition of Stalin's poems for the ruler's 70th birthday in 1949, Stalin had the project stopped.
Much of Mao's poetry was written during the Long March of 1934-36, but he occasionally wrote poems in the following years. Many of Mao's poems are still very popular in China. They are frequently quoted in popular culture, literature and daily conversations. His poems are generally considered well-written and of high literary quality.