Thursday, December 3, 2015

Poets and Poetry

After listening to this poem by Konstantin Simonov, I began to look more into Russian poetry, and the lives of the poets behind the words. Other than writing gorgeous poems, there were a few things I found to be interesting.

A monument to Yesenin in Ryazan
For one, quite a few of them died at young ages -- especially Pushkin and Yesenin. In fact, there is a great deal of mystery surrounding Yesenin's death; theories exist that perhaps he was murdered by the NKVD for his lack of support for Stalin. Despite his anti-Soviet leanings, Yesenin remained extremely popular, with monuments erected in his image.

Another thing interesting about Russian poetry was the shifting themes. Before the rise of the Soviet Union, poetry seemed to focus on the usual themes: death, love, etc. However, during the Soviet era poetry took on more realistic themes, as did most Russian literature during this time. War was a very common theme during World War II, especially among the works of Simonov. The poem linked above, "Wait For Me", is one of the most famous Russian poems from the WWII era, and is often considered one of the best poems to emerge from the Soviet Union.

Linked below is a poem of Yesenin's which I found unique because of the Persian motifs throughout the poem -- in fact, they are very evident in the reading. The tone itself is also much lighter than is usually present in Soviet poetry.

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