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 Afanasy Fet

Born:   December 5, 1820
Deceased:   December 3, 1892

Poet, translator, memoir writer.


Poems by Afanasy Afanasievich Fet (Shenshin) are characterized by the longing to flee from everyday reality to the “bright realm of dream”. He mainly wrote about love and nature. Though tender and sentimental in his poems, he was a persistent serf-owner.

Born into the family of the landowner A.N. Shenshin and Carolina Fet, Afanasy Afanasievich was registered as the son of A.N. Shenshin, however when he was 14, juridical wrongfulness of the record came to light, thus depriving Afanasi Fet of all privileges of the nobility. His first book of poetry - Lyrical Pantheon was published in 1840. In 1844 he graduated the Philology Faculty of the Moscow University and in order to regain a title of nobility joined military service (1845).

In the early 1860s, the period of dramatic division of social forces in association with the revolutionary situation, Afanasy Fet stood up with his retrograde publicist declarations in favour of landowners’ rights. Shortly before that Fet had retired to take care of farming in his lands; at that time he did not write much. Only at the set of his life did the poet return to writing and published 4 books of poetry under the common title Vechernie ogni (Evening Lights) (1883–91).

His poems are remarkable for subtle poetic sensations and great artistic skill. Fet’s gift of a delicate lyricist coexisted with the nature of a calculating owner and seeker of possessions.

Afanasy Fet is also known as a translator of poetry. Many of his poems have been set to music.

The poet died in Moscow. According to some data, his death of a heart attack was preceded by a suicide attempt. Afanasy Fet was buried in the settlement of Kleymenovo, the ancestral estate of the Shenshins.

Tags: Russian poets Russian literature    

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