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 Sergey Yesenin


Born:   03 October 1895
Deceased:   28 December 1925

Poet

      

Sergey Aleksandrovich Esenin (Yesenin) was born in Konstantinovo settlement (present name – Esenino) into a peasant family of Old Believers and was raised by his maternal grandparents. He made his first attempts to write poetry in his childhood. During 1904-1909, when Sergey attended the village school and later Spas-Klepiki church boarding school, he started writing poetry on a more profound level. Sergey’s teacher advised him to make writing his profession, and the boy moved to Moscow in order to reach this goal.

Esenin's first poetry was published in the Moscow Mirok magazine in 1914. In 1915 he moved to Petrograd where he continued carrier making in literature salons. Sergey was surrounded by such famous men of literature as Aleksandr Blok, Sergei Gorodetskii and Nikolai Kliuev.

Esenin`s first collection of poems “Radunitsa” (1916) was mainly devoted to traditional village life and folk culture, his childhood memories and nature. The early poetry of Esenin gives a melancholic or romantic view of the Russian countryside. Religious thematic was also a frequent element of Sergey`s poetry. In 1918 Esenin becomes a member of the Imaginist movement famous for its avant-garde poetry and ironical blasphemy. At that period he issued several volumes of poetry and contributed to a number of Imaginist collections.

Later in 1920 Esenin was disappointed by the results of the October Revolution and Bolsheviks and influenced by these moods he released the drama “Pugachyov” (1922) and “Confessions of a Hooligan” (1921) showing the “dark” side of his personality  provocative, vulgar, wounded, anguished.

 
A fateful figure of Esenin`s biography and poetry was the famous American dancer Isadora Duncan who he followed on a tour to Europe and America 1922-23. After returning to Russia from the United States Sergey started suffering from depression and hallucinations. During his last years Esenin became extremely depressed and alcoholic. Sergey left the Imaginists movement in 1924 and traveled in the Caucaus. Staying there resulted in releasing “Persidskie motivy” poetry collection (1925).

In the late 1925 Esenin was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a nervous breakdown. After the treatment he left for Leningrad where he committed a suicide in the Hotel d'Angleterre, on December 28, 1925.

Concerning the literature style, Esenin is often compared with Robert Burns and Arthur Rimbaud, with Dylan Thomas and François Villon and has a reputation of a poet of death, and a poet of eternal youth.

See also:

City Hunter: Moscow Museum of S. A. Esenin

Zinaida Reich

 


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