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Pravada has poem about Samantha Smith

MOSCOW -- Samantha Smith, who already has had a flower named after her in the Soviet Union, has become the subject of a poem in Pravda, comparing her to 'a little star flashing over the planet.'

The Communist Party newspaper Sunday published the poem about the late American schoolgirl, who visited the Soviet Union two years ago as the guest of President Yuri Andropov.

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Smith was invited to the Soviet Union after she wrote a letter to Andropov in 1983 asking why his country wanted to conquer the world. He replied that was not the Soviet goal and asked her to come to Moscow and see for herself.

Smith, 13, died last August in a Maine plane crash. Soviets, mourning her death, named a flower and a huge diamond after her. In the latest tribute, poet Julia Drunina penned a verse praising Smith's appeals for peace.

Excerpts carried by the Tass news agency read:

'Samantha, you were like a little star flashing over the planet

On the sky covered with dark clouds, under the stare of kind and evil eyes.

Explosions made the stars tremble, and the laser beam scanned the sky,

But Samantha believed that it was still not too late to save the Earth.

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The wall of hatred and misunderstanding was getting taller,

But we do not forget the names of those who were our allies yesterday ...

The child has died, but she had time enough to shake the minds and souls of people.

Despite the stars trembling of explosions and the laser beam scanning the sky,

We also believe it is not too late to stop the insane conspiracy.

It is naive to try to intimidate Russians.

It has always been and always will be like this.

But today, we stretch our arms to all your friends, Samantha.'

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