UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sergei Esenin and nature Perunovich, Ljubomir 1975

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


831-UBC_1975_A8 P47_9.pdf [ 5.3MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0093451.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0093451-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0093451-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0093451-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0093451-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0093451-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0093451-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Sergei Esenin and Nature by Ljubomir Perunovich Law Degree, University of Belgrade 1960 A Thesis Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t of the Requirements f o r the Degree o f Master of Arts i n the Department of Slavonic Studies  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia April,  1975  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  thesis  an advanced degree at the L i b r a r y s h a l l I  f u r t h e r agree  in p a r t i a l  fulfilment of  the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h  make i t  freely available  that permission  for  the requirements f o r  Columbia,  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f  this  study. thesis  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department by h i s of  this  written  representatives. thesis  for  It  i s understood that  f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  Department of  S'L Ah/<> /v> t  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h  Columbia  2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  Date  ftr/Z/L  ^  -  /7*7.5"  'J TL//)/CTS  or  copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  not be allowed without my  permission.  that  Abstract  In t h i s  thesis  my m a i n c o n c e r n  w i t h N a t u r e i n a d i r e c t manner. I will  d i s c u s s such  poets,  While  i s the poetry which  deals  analyzing Esenin's  poems  problems a s :  1.  The b e g i n n i n g  2.  The r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n E s e n i n a n d t h e p e a s a n t  especially 3.  Esenin's  of Sergei Esenin's  poetic career.  Kliuev.  The r e l i g i o u s  and t h e p a n t h e i s t i c  aspects of  poetry.  4.  The p o e t r y  5.  Esenin's  of Esenin's. l a s t  craftsmanship  One o f my m a i n t a s k s specific  two y e a r s .  and l e x i c o l o g y .  i n this  paper i s t o examine t h e  r e l a t i o n s h i p between E s e n i n and N a t u r e ,  ing  t h a t which  old  maple t r e e ,  i s characteristic  aesthetic  feelings  such  The  as h i s f e l l o w men.  as  He c o n v e y s h i s  including  animals,  a t t a c h m e n t and l o v e f o r them t h a t h i s p o e t r y i s  f o r i t s almost  poetry  an i m p o r t a n t  secret  o f h i s success  beginning  o f h i s view o f Nature.  towards t h i n g s i n Nature,  unique  The  by demonstrat-  the p o p l a r s , t h e cherry t r e e s a r e almost  much p a r t o f h i s i n n e r w o r l d  through  1  irrational  dimension,  passion.  Esenin's  w h i c h i s a t t h e same t i m e t h e  as a p o e t .  poem " S o r o k o u s t "  with  i t s new themes r e p r e s e n t s t h e  o f a new p e r i o d i n E s e n i n ' s  man a n d as p o e t ,  felt  trial  i n the existing  revolution  This gives  deeply  p o e t i c work.  t h e changes caused  E s e n i n , as  by t h e i n d u s -  harmony b e t w e e n Man and  iii  Nature.  T h i s was  strongly  reflected  i n the  poetry  of h i s  period. In Esenin's  this  thesis  urban poetry,  Imagists, or  the  I shall  not  his period  poems w r i t t e n  discuss of  such problems  association with  abroad.  as  the  last  IV I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Professor V. Revutsky f o r the time and help given without l i m i t s and for the warm and f r i e n d l y assistance offered i n the preparation o f this study.  I would also l i k e to thank Professor I. Reid for her h e l p f u l  suggestions and correcting of my English.  I wish likewise to express  my sincere thanks to a l l members o f my committee for their help and understanding.  V Table of Contents  Chapter  Page  Introduction  1  I - The Beginning of Sergei Esenin's Poetic Career  4  Footnotes  9  II - Esenin and Kliuev  10  Footnotes  16  III - Esenin's Emotional and Aesthetic Response to Nature. Love and Beauty i n Esenin's Poetry Footnotes  17 26  IV - Sadness and Joy i n Esenin's Poetry  27  V - Religious Overtones in Esenin's Poetry  32  VI - Pantheism  36  Footnotes  40  VII - Esenin's Poetic Response to the Industrialization of Russia  41  Footnotes  58  VIII- Esenin after his Trip Abroad. a) The Poet of Soviet Reality 59 b) Esenin at the Crossroad between Old and New Russia. 65 Footnotes 79 IX - Final Years: Recollection of the Russia of his Early Youth Footnotes X - Esenin's Craftsmanship and Lexicology Footnotes  80 ,  96 97 110  Conclusion  1.11  Bibliography  114  Introduction  In l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m there i s not much written about Sergei Esenin, e s p e c i a l l y i f we take into account h i s enormous p o p u l a r i t y i n the Soviet Union as well as i n the east European countries.  At the  time of h i s suicide i n 1925 he was one of the most popular poets i n the country.  But soon a f t e r h i s death the public mention of him i n  l i t e r a r y reviews declined due to p o l i t i c a l pressure.  This period of  r e l a t i v e silence lasted t i l l the early s i x t i e s when the o f f i c i a l preparation began f o r the anniversary of h i s seventieth birthday i n 1965, which was celebrated throughout  the Soviet Union as a c u l t u r a l event.  During the l a s t ten years the number of s c h o l a r l y works about Esenin has been s t e a d i l y increasing.  In the western world,  unfortunately, he i s s t i l l better known as the ex-husband of Isadora Duncan.* However, Nature as one of the c e n t r a l themes i n Esenin's poetry has so f a r been neglected by the c r i t i c s ; mainly i t has been analyzed s p o r a d i c a l l y , subordinated to other aspects of his work. The main task of t h i s paper i s to discuss some questions that seem relevant to this broad subject of Nature i n Esenin's poetry.  The  organisation of this study i s e s s e n t i a l l y based on the chronological development of his poetry beginning with his f i r s t  attempts.  The character of Esenin as a poet cannot be propel ly understood without studying the r o l e of the peasant poets in his formation,  l-'or that reason one chapter of t h i s paper deals with the  inlLuencc of N i k o l a i Kliuev on h i s early works.  2  The chapter on Esenin's emotional and aesthetic response to Nature attempts to show M s  profound love of and close t i e s with Nature.  The r e l i g i o u s aspects of Esenin's poetry are included i n this thesis since they are deeply rooted i n his a t t i t u d e to Nature. Pantheism as an i n t u i t i v e and emotional approach to Nature is a d i s t i n c t i v e feature of the poet's early works.  This has been  discussed i n a b r i e f comparative study which contrasts Esenin with some B r i t i s h Romantics, notably to William Wordsworth and Lord Byron. Perhaps the poems i n which the poet rejected i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of Russia show best the deep s e n s i t i v i t y and h i s understanding of the harmony between man  and Nature.  During the l a s t two years of his l i f e Esenin went through a serious c r i s i s which l e f t an i n d e l i b l e mark on his work.  For that  reason the poems of his l a s t period are discussed i n three groups, according to t h e i r d i f f e r e n t a r t i s t i c tendencies and moods. His craftsmanship, for the greatest part, i s developed on the basis of h i s immediate experience with Nature.  Moreover, many  of his metaphors, similes and epithets are d i r e c t l y taken from Nature. In w r i t i n g t h i s paper <Z the l i m i t s of this t o p i c , namely how  major problem occurred regarding to focus on Nature i n his poetry  as an integral part of his entire work, without becoming too d i f f u s e d by other aspects of his poetry.  For that reason sometimes  these  other themes have been*discussed when i t seemed necessary to give further understanding of our topic.  No.  1. 1, on  For a f u l l page 78.  explanation,  see Chapter  VIII  Footnote  4  The Beginning of Sergei Esenin's Poetic Career  There is a long history of nature poetry in Russian literature: Alexander Pushkin, Aleksei Kol'tsov, Nikolai Nekrasov and others contributed considerably to this subject.  Towards the end of the 19th Century,  the theme more or less faded out of literary works.  The now dominant  school of symbolism stood in the way of any serious works concerned with the countryside.  But with the Revolution of 1905 and the increasing  migration from the countryside into the cities an interest in folklore and village l i f e became fashionable in some circles i n Petrograd and Moscow. In 1912 Nikolai Kliuev, a village poet, appeared on the literary scene and was favorably received by the c r i t i c s and the public.  In 1916, he contri-  buted a great deal to the formation of a group of peasant poets, among whom was the young Sergei Esenin.  After the October Revolution, the entire  subject of nature, folklore and country l i f e was treated more extensively and approached from new perspectives. Esenin began to write under two direct influences -- popular rural poetry on the one hand and the Russian classics on the other.  His  early poems were based on his impressions of the village world, his native Konstantinovo, Spas-klepiky and the Oka River.  The time before the October  Revolution is usually considered to be the period during which the greater part of his formation as the poet took place. In analysing this early period we w i l l pay attention mainly to those qualities of his nature poetry which contributed most to the establishment  5  of h i s r e p u t a t i o n . However, i n order t o gain i n s i g h t i n t o the development of h i s craftsmanship, a number o f h i s l e s s s u c c e s s f u l e a r l y works w i l l be analysed b r i e f l y . "The very simple.  Night"(Noch')l i s a weak poem w r i t t e n i n 1911-12; the form i s Nature i s p i c t u r e d as s l e e p i n g and the l i n e s are very p l a i n ,  almost without imagery. THXO  ppeuuieT  peica.  TeMHtra 6op He uryMHT. CojioBeM He noeT, M  flepra^2  He  Kpuwr.  CI, 326, 1911-1912) A l s o , there i s much r e p e t i t i o n as, f o r example, i n the t h i r d stanza: CepeCpHTCH p e n a . CepedpHTca pyneM. CepetfpnTCH T p a B a OpouieHHHx CTeneM. ( I , 326, 1911-1912) The poet i s l e a r n i n g h i s c r a f t and one can f e e l the s t r a i n behind the l i n e s . "The  B i r c h T r e e " ( B e r i o z a ) ^ ( w r i t t e n i n 1913) i s a b e t t e r poem.  In i t s use o f ornament, "serebro," "kaima," "hakhroma," i t i s l i k e t r a d i t i o n a l Russian poetry and s i m i l a r t o decorative f o l k poems.  I t conveys a mellow  mood, a sense o f s t i l l n e s s i n nature. Though w r i t t e n i n 1910, The Evening i s Already Here (Vot uzh vecher), i s one o f the b e t t e r e a r l y poems. A young lad's f e e l i n g s towards Nature are charmingly conveyed i n simple language and imagery. •fl  CTOIO  y Aopora,  ripncjiOHira!mch  K HBe.  ( I , 6-., 1910)  6  OT  jryHH  FIpHMO  OB3T 6OJT±>UIOM  i i a Haiiry  Kpi.fi.iiy.  (I, 63, 1910) Here is a boy in a contemplative mood gazing at the moonlight reflected from the roof of his house and admiring the abundance of light as i f i t were something miraculous.  "Rosa b l e s t i t , " "pesn' solov'ia," " i beriozy  stoiat kuk bol'shie svechki," "sonnyi storozh stuchit miortvoi kolotushkoi." The selection of sights and sounds successfully gives the impression of a peaceful night and, in particular, of the gentle flowing together of natural things bathed i n moonlight. Typical Eseninian Nature is active and often in motion: "Mesiats zapriagalsia v nashi sani"; "zarnitsa raspoiasala alyi poiasok zAri." One of the most interesting developments in Esenin's period is the growth of his poetic awareness of Nature.  first  This growing  sensitivity can be seen i n the following four poems. The four line poem, "Where the Cabbage Beds Are"(Tam, gde kapustnye griadki), written i n 1910 can be considered as the f i r s t t o ihow Esenin's real poetic g i f t : TaM,  r A eKanycxHHe  KpacHOM  BOfloM  KmrnnoneK 3e^ieHoe  rpHflrai  nojnraaeT  MajieHbKHH  BHMH  BOCXOA,  Marae  coceT.  (I, 64, 1910) The images are taken from Nature.  A connection is shown between "kapustnye  griadki" and "krasnoi vodoi polivaet voskhod" which is a universal phenomenon with an effect on the whole world.  The phrase"klenionochek  zelionoe vymia sosiot" is characteristic of Esenin.  It is a good illustration  7  c f h i s method of c r e a t i n g new images, i n this case an image that both the animal and the p l a n t w o r l d . by subtly imparting to  Its  reflects  He adds meaning to the plant world  q u a l i t i e s u s u a l l y a t t r i b u t e d to animals.  'Ihe d e l i g h t f u l neologism "klenionochek" s t r o n g l y suggests the word " t e l i o n o k " and  t h i s p o e t i c t r a n s p o s i t i o n blends w i t h the r e s t of the poem i n d i c a t i n g  the u n i t y of things in Nature. ''The Echo of Winter Sounds"(Poiot zima aukaet) i s another e a r l y poem (1910) i n which we see how the poet r e l a t e s that which i s human to Nature. The poem t e l l s of w i n t e r as seen through the eyes of l i t t l e sparrows. A strong wind r o a r i n g through the pine f o r e s t has brought them to the frozen windows.  As a p a r a l l e l , at t h i s p o i n t , the poet introduces orphan c h i l d r e n . BopOfiMUKH KaK fleTKH  HTpHBHe, C HpOTVMBHe,  npvKcajmcb  y  OKHa.  (I, 65,  1910)  The image of the orphans i s strengthened by the use of c h i l d r e n ' s "baiukaet," "vorobyshki," "ptashki malye."  language:  This choice of d i c t i o n helps  the i n t e r m i n g l i n g of the human element w i t h the element of Nature. To see how t h i s poem achieves i t s effect, we can take, f o r example, the image "sedye oblaka" which has a number of nuances: c o l d , snow, the fading of l i f e , as well as a l l that i s threatening to the l i v e s of l i t t l e sparrows.  The meaning of the word " o b l a k a " i s i n t e n s i f i e d by "sedye"  which connotes gray h a i r , o l d age and the weakening of l i f e .  Ibis blend of  nuances i s q u i t e successful f o r the l y r i c power of the poem Ties in the interweaving of the human elements and the elements of Nature. Another example of Esenin's early work is''l)o not Wander about the  8  Crimson Bushes''(Ne brodit' ne miat!  v  kustakii bagrianykh) (1915-1916).  Here  memories of a love affair mingle with extensively used images from Nature. 'Hie g i r l does not enter his dreams any more, "otosnilas* ty mne navsegda," and his memory of her i s fading away with the sunset. SLMM COKOM HTQmj Ha KCliCe, HeacHaa, KpacKBaa, dmia  C  Ha  oaKaT  ra  P03OBHM  noxaica  H, KaK euer, jry4HCTa H cBeTJia.  (I, 185, 1915-1916) Her picture i s dissolved into the manifestations and objects of Nature.  A  beautiful romance is not obliterated but takes on new forms. IlycTb nopoM MHe nierraeT HTO  dujia  TH  necHH  H Men  CHHHM Be^ep, Ta,  ( I , 186, 1915-1916) There is no feeling of sorrow at his loss since, for Esenin, Nature seems to be the guardian of a l l that is beautiful i n human l i f e .  9  Footnotes The Beginning of Sergei Esenin's Poetic Career  1. Sergei Esenin, Sobranie sochinenii (Moskva: Izdatel'stvo Khudozhestvennaia l i t e r a t u r a , 1966) A l l quotations of Esenin's poetry and prose are taken from this e d i t i o n and are indicated below the actual l i n e s . 2.  Crake.  3.  I, 78, 1913.  10 II  Kliuev and Esenin  A f t e r f i n i s h i n g school i n Spas-klepiky, Esenin went to Moscow, drawn there by ambition.  As he immodestly put i t , he hoped "to earn a  bronze statue f o r himself." for  The f i r s t  two years i n Moscow were quite d i f f i c u l t  young Esenin; he d i d not have enough education or p o e t i c a l s k i l l to write  the kind of poetry that would be recognized by h i s contemporaries.  Another  problem was the m u l t i p l i c i t y of l i t e r a r y groups and movements at that time; he was not quite sure where to d i r e c t h i s t a l e n t . Towards the end of 1915 he met the peasant poet, Kliuev, who ali'eady recognized and w e l l known i n l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s . friends and Esenin was  was  They soon became  taken under the wing of a poet s i x years h i s senior,  a r t i s t i c a l l y akin to him but more experienced and with connections i n literary circles.  Kliuev f u l l y understood and valued Esenin's p o e t i c  world, that i s , the l i f e of the Russian countryside.  In f a c t , Kliuev main-  tained that the peasantry would play a Messianic r o l e i n the future of Russia and this notion had a very important e f f e c t o i . the work of the young poet. It l e f t him free to f e e l that he could achieve h i s l i t e r a r y  ambitions  without having to force h i s talent i n any d i r e c t i o n that might be f a r from his  roots. N i k o l a i Kliuev was  self-educated, well'read, with an extensive  knowledge of Russian r u r a l l i f e and t r a d i t i o n .  He belonged to the old sect,  the "khlysty"*-, from which he gained insight into those s p i r i t u a l tendencies of Russia that have been ignored throughout h i s t o r y and suppressed by governments.  Kliuev exercised a s i g n i f i c a n t influence on Eseiun's work by  developing his awareness of these aspects of the r u s t i c culture of Russia. To write about this influence i s a rather d e l i c a t e task and, i n order not to overemphasize Kliuev's r o l e i n Esenin's l i f e ,  one  should  b e a r  in mind that both poets were a l i k e i n t h e i r backgrounds, a r t i s t i c influences (especially f o l k l o r e and symbolism) and  t h e  s u b j e c t  m a t t e r  of t h e i r works.  Our concern here i s l i m i t e d to the theme o f Nature i n t h e i r poetry. extensive comparative  study o f the two p o e t s ,  In an  would be important to consider  i t  in d e t a i l t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s before they read each other's poetry. However, the i d i o s y n c r a s i e s o f t h e i r characters made each d i s t i n c t from the other as a poet. values taken  f r o m  Kliuev was a  the past.  l e a r n e d  His v i s i o n of the  man with a d e f i n i t e set of f u t u r e  o f Russia was an  extension o f t h e dreams and desires of bygone generations, i n p a r t i c u l a r , those of the Old B e l i e v e r s . Emotionally and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , he was deeply committed to the past, and with a unique v i s i o n o f the i d e a l Russia. p u b l i c  he displayed a good deal o f modesty,  projected rather than a sincere f e e l i n g .  b u t  that was more the  In  image  he  Tn l i t e r a r y , p o l i t i c a l , or r e l i g i o u s  gatherings he was never spontaneous, always cautious and o n guard,  conspicuous  i n a subtle way. His knowledge of cosmopolitan culture was acquired i n a calculated fashion.  He never allowed himself to be completely exposed to i t .  attitude i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n £  l e t t e r to Esenin:  uejmfi  Be/ib  B JiHTepaT.vpiitw  oropo/ie  roji.yOb MOEI TOUOH K O 3 J M  nac  TepiiHT  AAOBHTHX  B n e M H HTO H  KOJflciux  HeodXOAHMO  This  /IJ1H  icaic'i'vcou,  TO  3Haeuib,  H TOJibKO  .TOM oropo/ie e c T b  na6eraTb  HTO MH C  no  MHJIOC™  ueuajio  KOTODHX HOM C  TO6OM  3/11l:\Bl-Ml It'll C ,'IV.TOBHOPO, T9.K K T e J i O C H O r O . . . ^  A c a r e f u l l y guarded, closed inner world w a s a n obstacle t o Kliuev's evolution  12  as  a poet  and  the  reason  for  his  remaining  within  the  of  limits  rustic  culture. In  the  successfully  of 1917  everyday his  evokes  Uhale"fMednyi  Otherwise,  applies  i t  has  be  studied  Kliuev:  his  "sin'  monashki."  i  Russia, and  few  after too  the  was  tools  Sometimes Kliuev:  picturing  interweaving  i t  sparks  rhetoric  was  the  of  of  "verby  the  Russian  Kliuev's poetic  transplant  is  own  poetic  a  capacity  ABe 6ejme  After  Bronze unfinished  p o s t h u m o u s l y .  One  which  of  his  he  s k i l l f u l l y  poetry  most  can  images:  gat',"  "beriozy  obvious:  CBe^KH  JiecoB.3  B OTOM rojioce c d K a u e H H o r o j r y r a Cjamy H 3naKOMHH cepmry 30B. T H 3 0 B e u i b Mensi, MOH noApyra, riorpycTHTb y COHUHX 6eperoB.  for  adapting  elements  world. Kliuev:  the  e s p e c i a l l y  (I, had  Nature.  o*iEsenin's  not  activities  power.  language.  "siniaia  and  Ilpocjie3HTbCH y peHKH, IIorpycTHTb y 6yrpoB... L l e p e A JIHKOM  Esenin  and  l y r i c  folklore,  Esenin:  with  published  Influence  and  poems,"The  (1927)  borrowings,  monashki";  poetic  from  lovingly  requisites  the  enough  taken  Kliuev  spiritually  such as  not  and  metaphor  material.  MH —  Esenin:  a l l  Village"(Derevnia)  a master  the  Revolution,  Fire"(PogoreTshchina)  a number  gat1,"  October  b r i l l i a n t  much  poetic  through  the  (1919)/The  Kliuev  a r t i s t i c to  a  kit)  But powerful  l i f e  has  Remains  before  rural  country  poetry  work/'Hie  period  p o r ojiei-mw, •TyHKa — jmciw XBOCT.  Macau  —  TICUIOH n p u B i v i e H M H Tae>Ki0jH  norocT.ft-  of  another  221, poet's  1916) art  to  his  Esenin:  TVHH — nan o a e p a , Mecsm — p t K c n K r y c b . ITjismieT n e p e f l B s o p o M B y f i c T B e H H a j i Pycb.  (I, 273,  1917)  The two stanzas quoted above have much in common: the rhyme, the rhytlun  and the images, changed slightly by Esenin to suit his own poetic  purpose.  If the stormy clouds are like lakes and i f the moon i s like a gull,  then the gull can swim on waves of the lake.  But what i s more important,  b y using the phrase "pered vzorom," he links the turbulent state of Russia to this compound image.  Kliuev's stanza is a beautiful pastoral scene with a  touch of fairy tale mystery.  Esenin's stanza attempts more.  There i s also a resemblance between Kliuev's"Friendly Chat ' 1  (Besednyi naigrish) (1916), a poem in epic form, written during the First World War, and Esenin's"Heavenly Drummer' (Nebesnyi barabanshchik), written 1  at the end of 1917 or the beginning of 1918.  Ccvmuy  Kliuev:  ac H 3a cnecb, 3 a H e n o K o p c x B o H o r p a 3 y i o Kpac-Hhie 6axvusn, 'Eejium BOJIOC, yc JIHXOH KOcaitiH OcTpury H a BOMJIOK u i e p c x o d H T a M ; C men Ccumna uoo^aTyw r p u B R y Ko6ejfio O T A a M H a aicepe^iOK, rioBajno si K p a c H o r o c n e c u B u a Ha n c u i a T H c 6auoM u i e j r y A H B O H — POBHH Jib 6yaer coKO/ry B o p o H a ? ^  Esenin:  Ecjm  C  3TO co./iHLr,e  B 3aroBope c Mu e r o Bceti Ha  HMMH,  pa-rbfo uiTHKax noAHMeM.  'ECflH  3 T O T MeCHLI  Apyr nx 'i'-pHoti ovum, MH e r o  jvanypu  KaMHHMH B  oart,uioK.  —  14  PaaMeTeM Bee lyna, Bee flopor-H BomecHM, EydeiruoM MIJ oeixjvo K pa/tyre npuBecHM. T H 3BeHH, yBeHM HSM, MaTb-aeMJin cupasi,  0 nojjax H pomax Tojiyfioro Kpan.  (II, 66,  1918)  Kliuev's verses are w r i t t e n i n the manner of a popular bard and remain p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y i n the epic t r a d i t i o n .  Esenin's verses  are morejnodern.  Images from folk l i t e r a t u r e are given a new p o e t i c form  to match the new  a r t i s t i c m a t e r i a l , Revolutionary Russia.  Whether Esenin was under the d i r e c t influence of Kliuev or f o l k lore or both i n t h i s poem i s of less i n t e r e s t than the f a c t that he had the a b i l i t y to transcend t r a d i t i o n a l boundaries and r e l a t e t r a d i t i o n a l modes of expression to the psychology of h i s contemporaries. It was  t y p i c a l o f Esenin to develop or change a borrowed image:  Kliuev: "Solnyshko v p r i a g l o s ' v z o l o t u i u zhertvennuiu sokhu."^ "Ryzhii mesiats zherebionkom z a p r i a g a l s i a v nashi sani."''  Esenin:  Or Kliuev:  "Smezhaet z e n i t s i nebesnaia bel",' Esenin: "Smert' smezhaet g l a z a . " Apart from several of Esenin's e a r l y poeius, we cannot f i n d a single poetic borrowing without his own a r t i s t i c s e a l .  Moreover, reading  his poems gives one the strong impression that lie was not aware of any influence upon him while w r i t i n g these verses.  So free and open was h i s  approach to l i f e and a f t , that he would give himself completely to an a r t i s t i c work i f i t appealed to him.  However, he had enough talent to  assimilate another poet's art without l o s i n g h i s own a r t i s t i c  identity.  15  And there was  i t i s true that, due  to the circumstances of his  upbringing,  a great influence of r u s t i c culture i n h i s formation as a poet.  Nevertheless, save for h i s opposition to i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n during period between 1920  and 1922,  the  he d i d not have a discriminatory attitude  towards urban c u l t u r e . Kliuev accepted c i t y culture c o n d i t i o n a l l y .  To him i t was  tolerable  only insofar as i t d i d not i n t e r f e r e with h i s v i s i o n of the future or r u r a l Russia.  But Esenin was  able to outgrow the peasant poets and,  in fact,  his creative impulses compelled him to part with Kliuev and seek friends with a c u l t u r a l background d i f f e r e n t from his  own.  new  Footnotes Kliuev and Esenin  1. Hits r e l i g i o u s sect of Russian Orthodox Church originated 17tli century. 2. E. Naumov, Sergei Esenin, lichnost^tvorchestvo epokha (Lenizdat, 1969), p. 48"! ^ ?  3. N i k o l a i Kliuev, Sochineniia, torn pervyi (Buchvertrieb Verbog, 1969), p. 307. 4.  Ibid., p. 289.  5.  Ibid., p. 344.  6.  Ibid., p. 406.  7.  I I , 27, 1917-1918.  und  Ill  Esenin's Emotional and Aesthetic Response to Nature Love and Beauty i n Esenin's Poetry  Two  themes dominate  Esenin's poetry -- love and  both deeply rooted i n h i s experience of Nature.  beauty,  Certain biographical  d e t a i l s may help to elucidate these aspects of h i s poetry.  In memoirs  written by h i s friends and family there are a number of passages which indicate how  intimately the poet was bound to Nature.  His s i s t e r , Alexandra, wrote i n the l i t t l e biographical sketch of her brother how h e r parents, i n order to have more land to plant potatoes cut the "creeping cherry" i n t h e i r garden. painful e f f e c t on the c h i l d r e n . to her brother's"Letter to Hy  The incident had a sad and  In connection with t h i s incident she refers Sister"(Pis'mo k sestre) (1924):  OTiry KapTcdpejib Hy.xeH. HaM 6hui HjwceH eafl. H cafl pydnjiH, Re.,  pyhwrn,  AyiUKa!  06 3TOM 3Haex Moi-cpan noAyuiKa FfeMHCKCKO. . . C e M b . . . Mjib BoceMh jieT Ha3afl. ( I l l , 149,  1925)  From both the memoir and the poem we gather that tears were shed and that the incident stayed a l i v e i n t h e i r memory as i f they had l o s t a fellow being very close to  them.  Another poem,"The Maple Tree"(Klion) (1925) i s a unique work: perhaps a tree has never been described elsewhere with such tender love. A childhood companion, one that s t i r r e d the poet's imagination, i s growing old.  '11 ic poem p a r a l l e l s h i s feelings as a c h i l d and as a man.  On the one  18  side there i s the innocence and warmth which he f e l t towards  the  tree  as a  child: RjieH  Tbi MOH  MTO  CTOMUib  HJM  HTO  CJIOBHO  onaHiinH,  yBHAeJi?  3a  KJieH  HarHVBUIHCb n o A  38JieReH.ejsjM, MeTejibK)  dejioM?  IAJM HTO ycMm&Ji?  AepeBHW noryjurrb  TH  Emieji. ( I l l , 216,  And then the feelings of the grown-up yTpaTHB  H, KSLK  1925)  man:  CKpOMHOCTb,  JKeny ny-Kyio,  odraiMaji  OAypeHIIH B  AOCKy,  6epe3Ky. ( I l l , 216,  1925)  In V a s i l i i Kachalov's^ reminiscences there i s an i n t e r e s t i n g anecdote about Esenin.  On coming home  l a t e  one evening, Kachalov found the  house f u l l of guests and Esenin among them playing with the dog^Jim. poet  The  t  devoted most of h i s attention to the animal and t h e i r playing together  a l l evening drew the a t t e n t i o n of the assembled company.  Several days  l a t e r Esenin returned to read to Jim, i n the presence of his master, UC  fo  Kachalov's Dog"(Sobake Kachalova) (1925).  Many phrases used the  previous night during the game with the dog were incorporated into the poem.  Much of Esenin's poetry was created immediately a f t e r the i n s p i r a t i o n  occurred. art.  This contributes greatly to the s i n c e r i t y and directness of h i s  Later i n the same year, 1924, Kachalov went with a theatre troupe to  Baku, where Esenin was  i n hospital.  A f t e r hearing that Kachalov had come,  the  poet grew very r e s t l e s s and sent a messenger to inquire  Jim  was  with the group.  improve immediately."  whether  the  Esenin s a i d , " I f the dog comes, my condition He was waiting f o r Jim  friend i n a moment o f need.  as  one might  wait  for  dog w i l l  a good  19  The theme of the poem  M  Tt9 Kachalov's Dog"is a happy animal which  everybody loves and treats kindly.  Tn contrast to that love, the poet  t e l l s of h i s own grievances against human society.  He opens his heart to  Jim and wants to share the dog's feelings towards the world o f Nature. /1)KHM, H a c ^ a c T b e j i a n y une, TaKyw ^ i a n y He B n # a j i H cpoAy. ^.asaM c TOSOH ncuiaeM npn jryHe Ha T u x y r o , 6eciiryMHyio noroAy. .ZJaM, /t«nM, H a c ^ a c T b e Jiany MH& .  Hail,  ( I l l , 137, 1925) He also wants to explain to Jim  "chto z h i t ' na svete s t o i t . "  F i n a l l y , he confides to the dog the sorrow o f a broken r e l a t i o n s h i p : OHa npiweT, ASM Te6e nopyKy. H  d e 3 MeHR,  TH  3 a MeHH  3a  Bee,  B ee  B ^ieM  6HJI  BSVJUJA,  ycTaBHCh  Maun e'vi u&mo H He  pyKy  6wi  BHHOBaT.  ( I l l , 138, 1925) 'Hie two themes, love and beauty, comprise human aspects of nature and have to be analyzed i n broad perspective. It would be a d i f f i c u l t task to d i s t i n g u i s h Esenin the man from Esenin the a r t i s t . his  l i f e or work.  He never s e t t l e d i n one place.  There was no routine to  Many o f the poems were created at p a r t i e s or i n the  company o f other people and then set down on paper i n a quiet corner or l a t e r i n h i s l i v i n g quarters, which were often i n h i s friends' homes. He did  not have a l i f e o f h i s own apart from h i s a r t .  Whatever he was doing  when lie was not writing poetry seems to be related to h i s a r t i s t i c needs. He did not make much o f an e f f o r t to maintain h i s fam.il)- l i f e and deserted three wives. his  And yet the role of women i n Esenin's l i f e  poetry) was very important.  (as evidenced i n  However, in terms of time and attachment  20  they  can be  creative of  compared  experience.  a poem.  sometimes  his  The  Afterwards, another  woman  However,  people  to  through  What was  discovery  of  was  to  discovered.  be  always  saw h i s  most  important  a woman was  there  Esenin  his  poems.  role  another  similar  poem  and purpose  in  to  for to  be  l i f e  h i m was  the  writing  created  as  the  and  reaching  art. He He  Ka>K&HM y M e e T  nexb,  KaxflOMy flaHO H C T O K O M riaflaTb K HyacHM HoraM.  99,  (II, Not  everyone  like  gifts  c a n be  to  a poet  those  who  and  read  divide  his  1920)  s o u l between  poems,  which  are  them.  B a u m x flyiu 6e3^mcTBeHHyio oceHb Miit; HpaBHTCH B noTeMKax ocBemaTb.  (II, He  likes  spring  to  in  "illuminate"  their By  the  souls  giving  most  of  his  conventional  ties,  friendship.  For  he  no  ment  from  helped  longer  the  completely  example,  stimulated  everyday high to  the  unfortunate  men who  1920)  never  experienced  souls.  establishing  ship  of  99,  l i f e  mobility  poetry, a  Kliuev  his  after  that  His  acceptance emotions is  what  he  stable  creativity.  and h i s  e a c h poem and  to  such as  left  his  of  l i f e  of  and  prevented  family  realizing a r t i s t i c the  world  interests,  makes  l i f e  his  that  himself and  steady  their  freedom  and  with  open  thus,  poetry  an he  from  relationdetach-  gave  so p e r s o n a l  soul himself and  so  electrifying. One hi*  of  his  greatest  'iodina'' coincided with  loves  that  of  was the  Russia  i t s e l f  countryside:  and h i s  conception  of  21  0 Pycb —  MajMHOBoe ncvie  H cnHb, ynaBUiaa B peny, — (I, 216, 1916) He also gives us scenes o f happy r u s t i c l i f e i n h i s descriptions o f sky, meadows, peasants' huts, songs to an accordion accompaniment and ploughmen. At one point he exclaims: ECJM  "KnHb  KpuKHeT paTb CBHTan: TH Pycb, HCHBH B paio!"  H CKa)Ky: "He Haflo pan,  /laHTe poAHHy  MOIO. "  (I, 117, 1914) No one since Esenin has w r i t t e n about Russia with such tender and sincere love. The October Revolution c a l l e d f o r t h a new f e e l i n g and v i s i o n o f Russia: "Pliashet pered vzorom buistvennaia Rus'." mood of Esenin's poems*  This i s now the t y p i c a l  I f , at one time, he had i d e n t i f i e d h i s homeland  with Nature "malinov <?.e p o l e , " now he i d e n t i f i e s i t with the Revolution whose s t i r reaches out i n a l l d i r e c t i o n s and becomes a u n i v e r s a l force. He turns against Kitezh  and Radonezh and^in prophetic lines^promises the J  country o f Inonija a new paradise -- "gde vladeet bozhestvo zhivykh." The theme of beauty can be found to a greater or lesser extent i n almost every poet's work.  With Esenin the theme has s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s and the  beauty of the world of Nature and human beauty are often The manner of combining them i s highly imaginative.  interwoven.  Here i s an example:  H njiHUieT cywpaK B rajionben TpeBore, JiyHy B nacTyuiecKMH pcwcoK.  CorHyB  (I, 227, 1916) With the words " p l i a s h e t " and "pastushcskii rozhok" Nature i s p o e t i c a l l y  22  transformed into dance and music. the dancing of twilight.  'Die f a l l i n g of darkness is described as  The latter expression has a human connotation.  Kith fairy-tale imagination, the poet lulls how the twilight squeezes the moon into the shape of a shepherd's horn, which gives music for i t s dance, and a r t i s t i c a l l y projects human activities onto natural forces. Esenin's beauty i s never cold:  Ky/rpHBHH cyMpan 3a ropoH  PVKOK) Maine T SejiocHeiiCHoH.  ( I , 196, 1916) . And the two lines above imply a friendly v i s i t o r waving his hand. He experienced Nature through an abundance of  different  emotions. OnHTb H TenjioM rpycrbio OT oracHHoro BeTepKa.  6ojieu  ( I , 216, 1916) K'e can imagine the poet coming back to his village from Moscow accustomed to the dull city smells and suddenly smelling "veterok speloi r z h i . " He does not t e l l us directly what a beautiful and i n f i n i t e l y pleasant feeling i t creates i n him; perhaps an average city poet would do that but, since i t can be read between the lines, Esenin t e l l s us something deeper, more personal, " i a tjbploi grust'iu bolen." What helps to make his poetry so extraordinary is this capacity to omit meanings which the reader can divine on his own. FT TH, nan H, B ne^aju.»• .ii Tpede, :  3a6HB, KTO flpyr rede H Bpar, 0 po30BOM TOCKyeuib nede H rcuryuHTHiix oo\;i»i icax. 0,  18'!, 1915-1916)  His longing for "rozovoe nebo" and "golubyc oblaka" also shows how deeply  23  the world of Nature was rooted i n him. Sometimes Esenin expresses tender feelings towards the objects o f Nature: Xopoma TH, o 6ejiasi ryiaflhl TpeeT KpOBb MOIO JieTKHH Mopo3l  TaK H xoieTCH K Tejy npuscaTb OdHajKeHHHe rpyan 6epe3. (II,  At  28, 1917-1918)  times he i s simply entranced.  BeceHHHH Be^ep. CHHHM ^ a c . Hy K a n :ice ne JEcdHTb MHB Bac, KaK H e joaSviTb m-ie B a c , uBeTH? .H  c  BaMH  B H n n ^ i OH  Ha  "TH".&  (III,  73, 1924)  In Esenin's poetry animals are conceived o f as an extension o f the world of Nature, without d i s t i n c t i o n s between domestic and w i l d ones. Usually they arepictured i n moments of s u f f e r i n g . caii take the poem"The F o x " ( L i s i t s a ) (1916). wounded.  For an i l l u s t r a t i o n we  A poor animal i s mortally  The fading o f i t s l i f e i s revealed through i t s heightened awareness,  t y p i c a l i n such moments.  There are many signs o f imminent death:  "razdroblennaia noga," " y y s t r e l , " "sochilas' tikho krov'."  The elements of  the natural scene are selected and presented i n a sequential manner as i f seen through the eyes o f the dying animal, to indicate a gradual weakening of  i t s l i f e and the i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f i t s end.  There i s the animal's  dizziness and feebleness of sight: "kolykhalasia v glazakh lesnala top'." 'lhe  loss of strength makes the animal defenceless against the elements,  nuiably against c o l d : Ha KVCTOB KOCMarhiii BeTep B30"HCTPHJI M pacouitaji 3Boi-u-iciyio Apoo'b. (I, .198, 1916)  24  The semblance of mist: "kak zhelna, nad neiu mgla metalas'" (semblance, since the wind would very l i k e l y have cleared the a i r ) points out farther decline of the fox's eyesight. as a guide to f i n d food and  The scent which the animal used, at one time,  to avoid danger now  picks up the sulci ! of death:  "Pakhlo ineem i glinianym ugarom." There i s no more strength i n the animal or i n Nature to hold onto l i f e ; death comes quietly without resistance: "A v oshchur sochilas' tikho krov ." 1  The a r t i s t i c power of Esenin's imagination i s deeply rooted i n his i n t u i t i o n and emotions.  The l i t e r a r y c r i t i c A l i a Marchenko has pointed out ;  interesting example of the poet's i n t u i t i o n and close observation of Nature. EceHHH He TcuibKO no-nacTOHupMy jse6ivi "pa3yMHyio  nojirb",- HO H noHHMaji,,HeH3peH,eHHHe AVIUM" 3BepeM — Aap peAKOCTHHH, yHHKaJIbHHK, nOHTH HaHHGTO VTpaHeHHhlH cOBpeMeHHHM HejiOBeKOM. EceHHH, Hanpwviep, nepBHM H306pa3HJi BOJiKa, BonpeKH Kan cpo^KJiopHoM, TaK H JiHTepaxypHOH TpaAHUHH, He npocTO onacHhM H 3jam XHIUHHKOM, a pHUapeM, ".ffHHHOCTbK) KSiK JKHBOe" C pa3BHTHM 4VBCTBOM codcTBeHHoro ACCTOKHCTBa H n e c m — HHTepnpeTarrtiH 3Ta TCwibKO B caMoe nocjieAHee BpeMH nojQ/Hvma npasa .mpa>KAaucTBa cpeAH 6HOJioroB.5  Maxim Gorky praised the poet p a r t i c u l a r l y for his love of animals.  "In  my opinion he was the f i r s t i n Russian l i t e r a t u r e to have written about animals with such s k i l l and sincere love." Gorky even called him "That most gifted and most Russian of Poets. The poetry of Sergei Esenin leaves one with the profound impression that sunsets and sunrises, f i e l d s , lakes, sky, trees and animals v/i.th their innocent sufferings, are as much a part of his intimate world as his relations with his fellow men.  Thus, he writes of objects and manifestations of  Nature with the same warmth, kindness and L;ve he shows i n writing of human beings.  Perhaps this i s one of the most important aspects of his poetry.  25  In this way he brings Nature c l o s e r to man and men c l o s e r to each other and this may explain the perfect blending o f human imagery and Nature imagery in h i s poetry.  26 Footnotes  Esenin's Emotional and Aesthetic Response to Nature Love and Beauty i n Esenin's Poetry 1. V a s i l i i Ivanovich Kachalov of the Moscow A r t Theatre.  (1875-1948), a d i s t i n g u i s h e d actor  2. According to the legend, "The Shining c i t y of Kitezh" descended uncorrupted t o the bottom of a trans-Volga lake, a t the time of the f i r s t Mongol invasion. 3. Radonezh ( t h i r t y miles northeast of Moscow) , s i t e of a w e l l known monastery S v i a t a i a T r o i t s a , founded by Sergei Radonezhskii. 4. Russian TH (ty) i s equivalent t o the o l d E n g l i s h "thou", and i t i s used among f r i e n d s . B H (vy) i s a formal way of addressing, and stands for E n g l i s h "you". There i s a custom i n Russia f o r new friends to take a drink with linked hands and c a l l each other " t y . " 5. A l i a Marchenko, P o e t i c h e s k i i mir Esenina (Moskva: S o v i e t s k i i p i s a t e l ' , 1972), p. 70. 6. Maxim G o r k i i , On l i t e r a t u r e , Selected A r t i c l e s (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, n.d.), p. 354.  IV  Sadness  Sadness particularly through  i s one o f  i n the last  the imagery  of  When a u t u m n the a  forest  variety  is  and Joy  the strongest  period  joy with  moods  of h i s l i f e  Poetry  i n Esenin's  a n d much o f  i t  poetry, i s  conveyed  Nature. comes  the leaves  i s replaced by a white of changes:  i n Esenin's  there  one e x p r e s s i o n ,  f a l l  cover.  i s sadness one form  and, gradually,)  the green  The s u c c e s s i o n o f  seasons  a n d y e t , a t t h e same  of beauty  replaced by  time,  v e i l  brings  there  another.  3e^ieHaH nprnecKa,  fleBHHecKaH r p y A b , 0 TOHKan 6epe3Ka, 3arJiHflejiacb  ^TO  B npya? (II,  In hint •the  the d e s c r i p t i o n of"The  of sorrow—"Zagliadelas* third  54,  Birch Tree"there  v prud'" and t h i s  1918)  i s at  sorrow  f i r s t  becomes  just  obvious  a i n  stanza:  H noj!K6vui  nenajshimji  T B O H n p e . A C c e H H H H UTVM. (II, The to  retreat  autumn  from  also  has an effect  t h e meadows  54,  o n human  1918)  lives:  the shepherd has  and forests:  H TaK, B3floxHyBuiH rjrydoKO, CKa3aJi rioA 3BOH BeTBeH : ' T l p o i u a H , MOH rojrydKa, Ro HOBMX aypaa/ieH".  (II, In bredu)  t h e poem"My  (19.17-1918)  Eionin  Stroll  after  portrays  5 5 , 1918)  the First  how w i n t e r  Snow''(la  gives  po pervomu  landscapes  a new  snegu form  \  28  of  beauty.  0 JiecHafr, ApeMyHafl MyTb! 0 Becejibe c c H e a c e H H t r x HMBI .. Tan H xo^eTCH pyKH coMKHyrb H a A ApeBecHtMH 6eflpaMn HB. (II, For greater  Esenin  poetic  a closer look the  epithet  cranes in  fly  Nature  parting,  meaning at  death  "toska south  and, that  for i s ,  In  leaving  the  harvesting Esenin  one  of  does  the  not  than as  in  the  coming of  an aspect  the  poet,  they  dying,  which  sorrow  ones wheat  of  is  the  return.  of  in  act  against  the  order  Bread"(Pesn'  o khlebe)  (1921),  the  poet  life  and  seasons;  his  poetry  of  They  i t he  In  follow  sadness,  a mother  another  gives often  the the  of  of  of  him uses  fall  the  change  parting.  life  swan by  turning  Nature.  views  of  occasion,  isolated incident,  as  destruction of  of  process  an  infinitely  destruction  and  perspective,  the  the  On  as  has  Of  living.  k i l l i n g  whole  other  1917-1918)  collocations.  unprotected. the  winter  In  symbols  is part  originates i t  l i f e .  they are  to  the  in various  spring  see suffering an  from autumn  the  instance  l i t t l e  change  zhuravlinaia"  and  Esenin's beauty.  the  28,  human  it  but  In  i t  and an  is  into  eagle the bread.  rather  theuPoem  existence  its  in  broad  about  as based  on  beauty.  OHa, cypoBaH jicec TOKOC Tb, r^e Becb CMHCJI — cxpaAaHHH JBOfleHl BOT  PeaceT c e p n  KaK noA  TXitzejMe KO^ocbH,  ropjio  pe:icyT  JiedeAeM. (II,  For  the  products  poet of  the the  stalks  harvest,  of  grain  assures  are his  also own  f l e s h and  survival  103,  1921)  by  using  man,  but,  at  the  same  the time,  sows i n himself the seeds o f mortality which u l t i m a t e l y lead to h i s s e l f -destruction and death.  Bee no6oH pscn B npunen OKpacuB, rpyrjocTb ^Hyiujix cxcaB B AVXMOTHH  BKyuiaKuuiM cojioMeitHoe MHCO OTpaBJiHeT sepHOBa KIIIIIOK.  COK,  OH  (II, 104, 1921) Because o f t h i s man i s bound to d i e , and that i s the very source o f h i s misfortune. Suffering i s one o f the aspects o f l i f e through which Esenin conceived the unity o f man and Nature.  Mis a r t i s t i c achievement l a y i n  his a b i l i t y to convey sorrow through images o f the cycles o f Nature and not tv*>  treat i t as an i s o l a t e d and morbid experience.  In the"Poem about the Dog"  (Pesn* o sobake) (1915) the poet f i r s t describes the episode i n which a peasant drowns the puppies, and then he focuses on the p a i n o f the mother dog:  A Korfla HVTb n^iejiacb oCpaTHO, CjM3HBaH nOT c 6OKOB, riOKa3ajiCfl evi M e c H i r wap, xaToM OflHHM H3 ee 11^3 HKOB. B  CHHMO  TjisiRejia.  BHCb 3BOHKO OHa,  cxyjm,  CKOJIb3HJI TOHKHH CKDHJICH 3a XOJM B nOJKLX. K vjiyxo, Kan OT noAa^KH, KorAa dpocHT eM KaweHb B CMex, LTOKaTHJIHCb rvia3a co6aHbH A H  M e C H I T  3oJIOTHMtl 3Be3flaMH B CHer. (I, 178, 1915) Associating her g r i e f with "mesiats," "zvrozdy," " s i n i u i u vys'" and "khftim" seems to be a way of d i v e r t i n g a t t e n t i o n from the  poor animal as  i f to ease i t s pain.  More than that, i t i l l u s t r a t e s Esenin's capacity to  see and convey the beauty of the world beyond immediate sorrow. Joy and sadness may be expressed simultaneously i n h i s poetry: H nycKaM co 3EOHaMH njiayyT rviyxapti, EcTb TOCKa Becejian B ajiocxnx 3apn. (I, 68,  1910)  or: H ApeiuuieT Pycb B TOCKe CBoeM Becejiofi, BuenHBiiiH pyKH B scejiTtiM KpyxociuioH. CI, 227,  1916)  Quite often i n the same poem or even i n the same l i n e , Esenin expresses d i f f e r e n t poetic feelings and notions with a perfect blending which i s a mark of h i s poetic craftsmanship. Joy of l i f e  (with other overtones) rings through Esenin's e a r l y  poetry, imparting youthfulness, optimism, and playfulness to h i s a r t . Ha jia3opeBHe TKam-r l i p o m a najibuH CarpHHeu;. B TeMHoM poup, no nojimie, rUiaHex CMexoM dydeHeu.. (I, 146,  1915)  The j o y f u l movements of Nature at the coming of spring are v i v i d l y portrayed i n the sprouting of branches and accompanied by the s l e i g h b e l l , His rather unrestrained imagery becomes p o e t i c a l l y convincing i n : CnH~ee Hedo, upeTHBH Ayra, THXO CTeriHhie deryx depera, THHexcH AUM, y MajtMHOBtjx ceji CBaflbda sopoH od^ervia n a c T O K O J i . (I, 235,  1916)  Such s u r r e a l i s t i c expressions as "malinovye s i o l a " or "svad'ba voron"  31  are  a r t i s t i c a l l y strengthened by the melodiousness and the joyful tone of  the poem.  V  Religious  In great such  extent  the  early  with  that  close  and"Egorii''which the  Esenin, of  f o l k l o r i c sources  Christianity  Christian  natural  to  his  Nature  the  mostly  Esenin's  conception  legends  earth.  l i t t l e  in  and human  as popular  differ  faith  Overtones  and  Relying  are  stories.  forests  heavily  r e l i g i o u s poems,  examples  from popular i n  r e l i g i o n coincides to  beings.  Striking  dwell  of  Poetry  and  the  The  fields  as  he  a  on  brings  poems"Mikola  protagonists i f  i n  l (  of  their  ambience:  MeiJXffy c o c e H , uexAy ejioK, Meac <5epe3 K y f l p n B i J x d y e , IIOA B e H K O M ,  B  KOJIbue  HTO.flOK,  Mne MepemjiTCH Hcyc. (I, Heaven  is  also here  on  121,  1914)  earth: OH 3 0 B e T M e H H B K a K BO u a p c T B u e  AydpOBH, Hedec,  (I, 1 2 1 , The  objects  krylia  kheruvima,"  Christ  and  Man's in  the  those  Saints  of  "ivy are  who  are  poor  krotkie  real  Compassion"(Sh.el disguise of  Nature  associated with  monashki."  human b e i n g s .  gospod1 pytat'  a poor and  are  o l d man  in  On In  liudel order  to  the  the v  1914) religion:  other  poem"God  liubvi)  "v  hand,  eliakh Esenin's  Went  to  (1914),  Try  God,appears  l e a r n how humans  behave  towards  suffering:  CKpHBan CKOpdb H MyKy: KX He pa3dyAi-sub... H CKa3aji CTapHK, npoTSTTtiBasr pyny: " H a , noayH... MajieHbKO Kperr-ie yAeuib".  JIoRomji  rocnoAb,  BHAHO, MOJI,  cepAua  r;  (T,  109,  1914)  33  This  interpretation  fear.  God i s a good  poems  of  kanon) words  this  r e l i g i o n i s innocent  o l d man who c a r e s  is.._"A Canon  The atmosphere  referring  to  the r i t e s ,  the blending of  about  In  the people.  of  i s communicated  the holiday  belyi  sounds  with  perezvon."  the  (Troitsyno  "utrennii kanon,"  the church b e l l  of  One  religious  utro  the white  then  color  captures  one, and interweaves  utrennii  through  "obedniaia";  The poet  best  them  of  the  birch  two into  a  festivity.  the poem"l  (Poidu  v  skuf'e  desire  to encounter  (vagabond^,  a l a c k of  Morning"  the r e l i g i o u s and the natural  mood o f  and r e f l e c t s  f o r Whitsunday  e . g . :  "V roshche po b e r i o z k a m  elements, single  kind  (1914).  through grove:  of  Will  smirennym  Face  inokom)  the elements  a t t h e same  the World  time  (1914), of  the Guise  the poet  Nature  carrying  i n  and to  i n h i s heart  of  a Humble  Monk"  a more  intimate  expresses share  the l o t  of  "bosiaki"  the religious notion  of  life.  CHacTJiHB, KTO B p a f l o c T H y d o r o M , JKHBH oe3 flpyra H Bpara, LTpoMfleT npocejiOHHoM floporoK, MojIHCb Ha KOilHU H CTOra. (I, There early  Esenin  religious  and h i s work  f e e l i n g s were  Revolutions an attempt perspective humane  i s a distinct difference from  unstable.  enthusiastically. to of  order,  see the world Russia's not only  1917  --  social  to  1920.  His- a r t i s t i c lives  upheaval  i n h i s homeland  1914)  i n religious overtones, During  He g r e e t e d  human  107,  the latter  the February  and nature  --  and October  i n the whole  through  a  new  the  period his  r e s p o n s e was m a n i f e s t e d  but anticipating but  between  i n  the  and more  universe:  34  /la sflpaBC TBye T peBCwnonHH Ha aeMJie H Ha Hedecax! (II, 66, 1918) The poet showed special concern for "wooden" Russia: the Revolution has to purify r u r a l culture and tradition, which would now play the main r o l e in the l i f e of the country.  One of the chief p o l i t i c a l wbjectives of the  Revolution was t o smash the power and influence of the church.  Esenin's  poetic reaction t o this was contradictory. There are poems, as for instance •"Transfiguration"'(Preobrazhenie) (1917), where the cosmic elements are extensively used t o convey the foreseen cataclysmic changes.  "0 Bepyw, Hedo BcneHHTCH,  KaK JiaM, CBepKHeT BOJiHa. Hafl pou$3io omeHHTCH  3-flaTHM 1UBHKOM .ayHa. (II, 14, 1917) In addition, he gives voice to a genuine religious interpretation of the Revolution: 3peeT nac npeodpa/fceHbH, coMfleT, Ham oBeTJsm  OH  Ho pacnHToro TepneHfaH  TOCTB,  BbmyTb BHpacaBJieHHbiM rB03flb. (II, 16, 1917)  In his work we also f i n d a certain amount of blasphemy, a precursor of another tendency -- the forcing of a new revolutionary content i n t o the old Christian images.  The poem"lnoniia"(1918)  i s about the promised land created  by the poet's imagination; i t was supposed to replace the legendary "k'itezh grad."  At the same time he blasts the old dreams: "Proklinaiu i a  dykhanie kitezha" and the symbol of C h r i s t J m i t y :  35  TeviO, XpuOTOBO TCJIO EhauieBbiBaio 1430 pra. (II,  33, 1918)  Then comeshis promise: Odewaio BaM rpafl HHOHPDO, Tfle acHBeTficcKecTBO>KHBHXI (II,  35, 1918)  Towards the end o f the poem he uses r e l i g i o u s images, attempting to give them new content as i f the o l d meaning had been destroyed by the blasphemy. PaAyHcH, CnoHe, ITpojiHBan CBOH CBeTl HOBHH B H e 6 0 C K J I 0 H e Bbi3pe^i Ha3apeT. After 1920, Esenin seldom uses r e l i g i o u s terminology.  36  VI  Pantheism  Pantheism i s a dominant t r a i t i n Esenin's poetry, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n his  early period.  His b e l i e f i n the unity of man, Nature and the universe  is based on i n t u i t i o n , emotion, and imagination.  Though i t lacks " r a t i o n a l "  grounds, h i s conception i s s t i l l p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y sound.  A comparison  between him and some B r i t i s h romantics, e s p e c i a l l y William Wordsworth, may help to explain h i s approach. Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey."  A  c l a s s i c example of pantheism i s  In t h i s poem, Nature i s good; i t s forms and  sounds are b e a u t i f u l ; i n i t one can r e s t , meditate and think, i n s p i r e d by the  varied landscapes whose meaning goes beyond appearances; one can also  safely show one's emotions without any r i s k of g e t t i n g hurt. For I have learned To look on nature, not as i n the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes The s t i l l , sad music of humanity, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power To chasten and subdue. And I have f e l t A presence that disturbs me with the joy Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of something f a r more deeply interfused, Whose dwelling i s the l i g h t !" s e t t i n g suns, And the round ocean and the l i v i n g a i r , And the blue sky, and i n the mind of man: A motion and a s p i r i t , that impels A l l thinking things, a l l objects o f a l l thought, And r o l l s through a l l things.1 The' tendency among  romantic poets  \A/$$  to pour out t h e i r emotional  response to natural phenomena; but t h e i r response "is based, to a greater or etc. the  lesser extent, on r a t i o n a l theories, such as materialism, paleontology, S c i e n t i f i c discoveries had aesthetic meaning f o r them.  For V/ordsworth  "favored s o u l s " were " c h i e f l y those to whom the ha:monious doors/Of  37  science  have  unbarred  What makes general  is  the  illustration  celestial Esenin  stores."^  utterly  peculiarity of  his  few  Lord  a  lines  from  different  ties with Byron's  from  the  Nature.  western  If  "Childe  we  poets  take  as  in  another  Harold":  A l l Heaven and E a r t h are s t i l l : from the h i g h host Of s t a r s , to the l u l l e d l a k e and m o u n t a i n - c o a s t , A l l i s concentered in a l i f e intense, Where n o t a beam, n o r a i r , n o r l e a f i s l o s t , But hath a p a r t of B e i n g , and a sense Of t h a t w h i c h i s o f a l l C r e a t o r and D e f e n c e . Then s t i r s the f e e l i n g i n f i n i t e , so f e l t . I n s o l i t u d e , w h e r e we a r e l e a s t a l o n e ; A t r u t h which through our b e i n g then does m e l t , And p u r i f i e s from s e l f : i t i s a tone, The s o u l and s o u r c e o f M u s i c , w h i c h makes known E t e r n a l harmony, and sheds a charm Like to the f a b l e d Cytherea's zone, Binding a l l things with beauty; -- 'twould disarm The We f i n d  that  philosophy,  i t  is  as a u n i t y .  where  and  is The  emotionally  way  is  poetry  he  the  same  worthy would  of  the  is  only  poetry.."4  Obviously,  time  into  comparable  homeland,  feels  lines  the  his  and  natural  response  harm,3  to  which combines  the  a beautiful v i s i o n of  to  a man who  joyfully scene  grew up  describes  the  elseits  is a r t i s t i c a l l y  i s without  i n paraphrasing Wordsworth,  origin in  probably  these  s u b s t a n t i a l power  intimacy,  without  ties.  Beatty,  but  their  Byron  sees and  developed  feelings;  not  yet  had he  sincere emotions  discovering his  at  Arthur  which have  And  just  remarkable but  from  i n t e l l e c t behind  a e s t h e t i c s and  world  beauty.  the  spectre Death,  mean it  is  feelings which are intellectual ideas; To its  apply  says:  "Poetry  a e s t h e t i c ones any  other  such an extreme  are  emotion,  view  to  proceeds those or  feeling  Esenin's  dismissal.  a d i f f i c u l t  taSK  Io e x p l a i n h i m  in  terms  of  38  western  culture.  perhaps,  as  His  development  of  of  man d o e s  comprehend the  is  much b i o l o g i c a l as  Russian people.  that  poetry  Cosmopolitan  emotional culture  such feelings. not  urban  greatest  have  to  based on deep  assistance to  has  are  often  apparent  his  close  ties  the  the  to  with  contrary,  attainment  Nature  found  which  among  been p r e j u d i c i a l  seems  On  with  often  What  sever  civilization;  and  bonds  i f  of  the  Nature  in  preserved,  the  finest  the  to  Russian  the  poet  order  is  to  they  human  are,  may  be  achieve-  ments . For  Esenin,  l i v i n g anywhere  weakening  some  of  his  of  This  is  reflected  life.  the  last  year  of  his  Receiving of  Esenin's  the  last  design meaning  scope  of  and  l i f e  by  the  fusing  and  the its  universal  combination  experiences.  at  i n many o f  his  poems,  images  Men  of  the  same  country time  meant  with  especially in  natural  And  power are  yet  world  the  sources  those  was  r e c e i v e s more  perception  and beasts  universe.  the  question  emotional  of  emerges: to  seen  each  this  at  the  root  attention is  in  imagination  comprehend  the  entire  as p a r t  the  grand  object  of  has  a  specific  own. concrete  manifestations  images image  of  (This  kind  and  d e s c r i b i n g the  single  native  and  special  Nature.  different A  a  A  of  his  Nature  forming  intuitive  of  Nature  In selects  the  in  l i f e . and  chapter).  and  with  artistic expression.  combined w i t h life  ties  but  or  is  two  images,  In  any  case,  i t  of  conveying  a more  of  objects  would  l i f e .  Nature,  if  require  means the  Esenin  A r t i s t i c a l l y  different  concrete  especially  of  two  deeper  feelings of  is  done  simultaneously.  poetic  reveal  this  intuitively  expression  different  a r t i s t i c delving  than  poetic in  39  order to find a common ground that unites them. HHBH  cxa.ru, pornw  Thus:  VOJW,  OT BOflH TyMaH H CNpOCTb. Ko^iecoM 3 a CHHH ropn Cojome THXoe cmraflocb. (II, Tliis i s a concrete d e s c r i p t i o n o f  27, 1917, 1918)  autumn linked to universal laws and  changes, namely to the movement o f the sun.  The poet draws a p a r a l l e l  between a wheel l o s t behind a mountain (which, f o r those who are t r a v e l l i n g , means a period of waiting before they can recover i t and continue t h e i r journey) and the sun moving into a p o s i t i o n from which i t cannot give out s u f f i c i e n t energy to f o s t e r the l i f e o f Nature.  By r e l a t i n g these images  the poet, on a deeper l e v e l , l i n k s the concrete and the u n i v e r s a l . In this manner, h i s p a n t h e i s t i c v i s i o n penetrates beyond the immediacy of  life.  Footnotes Pantlie i sin  1. William Wordsworth, The Poetic Works of Wordsworth (London: Oxford University Press, 1928), p. 206. 2.  William Wordsworth, Poetic Works (Oxford, 1940-9), p. 12.  3. Lord ByTon, The Poetic Works of Lord Byron (London: Frederick Iv'arne), III, lxxxix, xc. 4. Arthur Beatty, William Wordsworth, His Doctrine and A r t i n t h e i r H i s t o r i c a l Relations (Madison: The U n i v e r s i t y o f Wisconsin Press, 19~6l), p. 117.  VII  Esenin's  Poetic  Esenin's suddenly with foresaw take  an o r d i n a r y passed  up w i t h This the  the t r a i n  spreads byk in  from  with of  the one hand  just  was  seemed r a t h e r  Russia,  a young  Russia  when  for his poetic "Pogibel'nyi  while  nad polera"  of  and, on the other,  to  train  raced  i t  for  the poet who,  the animal became  to  keep  very sad. begins  r o z h o k , " w h i c h announces  the  forth-  "tot posiolok  the animals  presents  to  He  an iron b e l l y .  Even  beginning  except  i t was l o s t ,  vision  He  the future.  the countryside:  t h e enemy w i t h  of  i n 1920.  As h i s  and encouraging  the sight  quite  insignificant  colt  cheered up a l l the passengers  the poet  of  written  to the Caucasus.  frenetically shouting  the sad melody  p o c h u i a l bedu  life  this  as the b a s i s  broad 'strokes,  on  have  of southern  and then,  poem o m i n o u s l y  no h i d i n g  which might  the plains  coming d e s t r u c t i o n is  "Sorokoust,"  man, occurred on h i s t r i p  had been  served  poem  of the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n thai  An incident,  kilometers;  first,  to the Industrialization  t o t h e i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n o f R u s s i a came  h i s heart-breaking  through  several at  reaction  the effects  place.  Response  41  "Molchad'nik  differently.  the confrontation  there  accordion  the menace:  react  t h e n e w , more  e t i luga,"  The v i l l a g e  r u n from  the trees  i  between  Then,  the v i l l a g e  t e c h n i c a l , approach  to  and Nature,  0, 3JieKTpHHeCKHH BOGXOA, PeMHeM H Tpyd rvryxaH xBaxKA, Ce H36 ApeBeHHaTHH >KHBOT  TpnceT CTajibHaH jiHxopaAKa!  (II, For a  the poet  change  the result  i n the entire  of  the race  between  r e l a t i o n s h i p between  the t r a i n  91,  1920)  and c o l t  man a n d N a t u r e  that  symbolizes lias  42  existed  since  concrete  examples  background. the  immemorial of  times.  the problem,  On o n e l e v e l ,  deeper  level,,  The p o e t ' s  i s expressed  p a r a l l e l i n g the universal  man's  certain  reaction  emotional  aspects  of  world  Nature  of  the poor  for  animal  supremacy  prevent Nature  much warmth  over  a n d i n human  destruction  of  reacted  any form  of  aesthetic  horse  and man.  whose  speed  adventures fully  other  In  KoneM  auare  objects By  have of  of  of  ties  not only  had the horse  a source  i n human  being  of  aware  case, been  the  a change to  of  Russia  The government  t h e new i d e a s  were  was j u s t  beginning  developing  disbetween  a beautiful  animal  b u t a l s o many Esenin  by the horse  to  think  i n terms plans  i n new  i n  grow  the  i t s participation.  had accomplished l i t t l e  i n  horse."  the bond  admiration,  psychology  horse  against  w h i c h was bound  - - i n this  cannot  the l i v e  concerned with  keenly  fighting  the race  of  h i s whole  very  impossible without played  i s  attempt  and  Nature.  1920 S o v i e t  industrialization. supporters  the role  and with  was a l s o  was always  been  of  The r o l e  Besides being  and emotional  the past,  t h e outcome  man a n d N a t u r e  the poet  pride,  to be replaced by the " i r o n  intuitively l i f e .  the i l l u s o r y  and animal  t h e new o r d e r .  between  and strength would  However,  i s going  of  industrialization,  turbance  of  lives  biological balance  with  was  the f i e l d s .  destroyed.  9 3 , 1920)  he d e s c r i b e s  i n i t s innocence  the establishment  Esenin  the  which,  and kindness  i n the  and, on  may b e c o m p l e t e l y  (II, With  effects  i s threatened  M m r a K , MHJMH, cMeun-ioH pypajiefi, H y K y s a OH, n y f l a OH TOHMTCH? EeyMBJO) ou ne aHaeT, HTO MCHBHX r i o d e A m i a CTa^rtHaH Kouwuua?  i n  for terms.  of i t  and  human  43  That i s to say, they were viewing l i f e i n terms of future i n d u s t r i a l development.  With his keen perception, liscnin was able to grasp the s i g n i f i -  cance of the coming changes, but i n h i s own way, with poetic concerns that most of his contemporaries were not aware of.  The c r i t i c s oversimplified  and interpreted h i s attitude as opposition to the Soviet Government. The poet's desire to dramatize this change i n the conception o f the world was perhaps c h i e f l y due to h i s profound attacliment to the prerevolution harmony between man and Nature which had been the basis o f h i s poetry.  The new men dreamed of technical achievements: dams, f a c t o r i e s ,  highways; they saw the countryside i n p r a c t i c a l terms through the kolKhiPZ and the t r a c t o r .  The poet was a f r a i d that d i s r u p t i o n o f the harmony o f  Nature and a change i n human r e l a t i o n s h i p with i t would degrade and impoverish human beings.  This i s an eternal problem, but the circumstances under  which the poet deals with i t are rather rare i n human h i s t o r y : there were cataclysmic changes i n Russian society which simultaneously affected  tkQ  r e l a t i o n s o f human beings to each other, and the r e l a t i o n o f society as a whole towards Nature. revealed i t s e l f f u l l y  I t was only at a l a t e r time that the problem and the poet was able to grasp i t s magnitude.  However, at that early period, the t r a i n was inconceivable i n his poetic world.  MepT  6u  Basui  Hauia necHH c  ie6a, TOCOM  cicBepHHH rocxb! ne cxuBeTCH. (II, 93, 19?(l)  He feels himself to be a "Psalomshchik" to his native country. of forthcoming changes.  (psalm-reader) singing " A l l e l u i a "  The trees are described as standing i n the shadow  TOJIOBOH 06jaum.Cb  pa3M03';l<aCb o nviereHb, KpoBbio Hrofl pn6HHa. (II,  94, 1920)  This gloomy v i s i o n o f the countryside i s extended to the Russian Muzhik. H COJIOMOK nponaxuiuM MJOKHK  3ax/ie6HyjicH  JMXOH  caMoroHKoM (II,  94, 1920)  In "Sorokoust" the poet laments the disappearance o f the v i l l a g e world and forthcoming i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n that i s going to c r i p p l e Nature and destroy i t s meaning and longestablished image.  Another poem,  "Volcnia g i b e l ' " , grows into a protest and a cry o f h o s t i l i t y towards the city. Topc-A, ropoAl TH B cxBaTKe acecroKOH OKpecTiM Hac nan naAajib H Mpa3b. CTbrneT nojie B TOCPCB BOJIOOKOM, Tejierpac|5HT.MH CTOJ\6aua AaBHCb. (II,  109, 1922)  F u l l o f despair the poet blames the c i t y , the protagonist o f the new fate o f Russia.  The c o n f l i c t between the c i t y and the v i l l a g e i s  r e f l e c t e d i n the image o f a wolf e n c i r c l e d by hunters who, a t any moment, may put i r o n claws on i t s wounded and exhausted body.  The poet i d e n t i f i e s  with the animal which, i n i t s l a s t moments o f l i f e , desperately charges at one of h i s enemies. 0, npraBex Te<5e, 3Bepb MOH «WX5HMHH! TH HeAapoM Aaeutbca Haxy. KaK H TH — H, OTBCKV'IV rOHHMHH. CpeAb acejie.TnHX BparoB npoxaicy. (TI,  110, 1922)  Tlie wolf s>nnbolizes the wild l i f e and a c e r t a i n type o f freedom, which  45  the  poet  the  wants  to  The  most  intimate  immemorial history, a  ties  at  the  and  preserve.  important between  times.  tremendous  change  save  He  aspect  presents  beginning  environment  Esenin's  R u s s i a n man  of  that  a new  s c i e n t i f i c and  man's  of  and  Nature  vision era  at  that  technological  significantly  poetry  a  that  is  his  had  crucial  developed  period  represents,  development  vision  among  which  and w i l l  affect  his  the  established  of  from Russian  other  is  of  things,  bound  to  psychology  as  well. Esenin's man in  to  Nature;  the  new  of In  man this  is  why  In  1920,  from  story  related The  poet  bitterly the  and  to  the  extent,  a  point of  Nature  of  is  and  spite  his  he  of  concerns  when view,  be  was  the  theme, to  its  but  explain  reply  wrote  fact  the  his  considered coolly is  written the  his  quite  was  full  work  is  poems  by  the  in  is  of  the  verse story  called  that and  time.  From  its  unusual  drama,  and, and  of  was  public. for  despair.  closely  historical  lyric  of  events  of  masterpiece  mir"  coming  usually the  of  drevnii  the  took  interesting It  events  the  other  received  elements.  i t  Esenin  past,  in  to  i  and  "Pugachov",  that  relation  "Tainstvennyi  disappearance  poetic  from  work  a r t i s t i c  long  preserve  expressed  to  i t  to  also  the  characters  epic used  save  sensed  (1921)  different  typical  he  "Pugachov"  disappointed  combination on  the  poetic  expected  literary  based  also  In  to  he wanted  Nature  period  h i s t o r i c a l drama.  the  of  that  Russia.  alienation  a  c o n c e r n was  to  the  a  great  actions  man.  characters  The  uprising  occurs  off-stage  in  whom t h e  events  are  and  reflected.  is  presented The  poet  through  several  purposely  avoided  46  descriptions of actual f i g h t i n g i n order to a t t r a c t the attention of the reader to some of the issues hidden behind the actual events that he to be important but less conspicuous.  felt  This was a s u i p r i s e to the p u b l i c ,  which expected to see the movements of the masses and the defeat of the T s a r i s t armies. was  As a r e s u l t , the point that Esenin was  t r y i n g to make  missed. Alexander Pushkin i n h i s novel  Kapitanskqja.Doch  enough attention to the characters of the men who  d i d not pay  l e d the r e b e l l i o n .  Esenin  went to another extreme; he completely ignored the leaders of the opposite side and concentrated on the human drama of the protagonists of the r e b e l l i o n , t h e i r zest f o r l i f e and superhuman e f f o r t to overcome a l l obstacles. It i s true that t h i s work cannot measure up even to the most lenient requirements of h i s t o r i c a l drama.  Thus, "Pugachov" should be regarded  as a unique l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n with both strong and weak p o i n t s .  Its most  noticeable shortcoming i s the a t t r i b u t i o n of imagist language and figures of speech to Eighteenth Century characters.  Yet, despite the omission o f  the struggle between the two armies and the f a i l u r e to present the opponents of Pugachov, Esenin gave t h i s work a s p e c i f i c kind of u n i t y . are shown not on the main h i s t o r i c scene  The characters  but e i t h e r before the events, i n  preparation f o r them, or a f t e r the d i s a s t e r , facing the consequences. The actual poem begins with Pugachov's journey and h i s a r r i v a l at the Cossak v i l l a g e i n the U r a l s .  The sufferings of the oppressed  population and the rumors of a p o s s i b l e r e v o l t have a t t r a c t e d b i n to this region.  From the beginning, i t i s noticeable that Pugachov feels and  47  speaks about men and t h e i r destiny in terms of Nature.  He appeals to  Nature for help i n executing h i s plans: 0, noMorn :Ke, c Ten nan Mrvia, rpO."!f-rO CBepUlHTb MOM 3aimcejil (II, 154, 1921) In the same manner, some contemporary people (the more old-fashioned ones, of course) would say "God help me" at d i f f i c u l t moments of t h e i r lives.  A l l of the characters speak the same language.  Thus, when Pugachov  asks the guard "Is that the r i g h t moment f o r the Muzhiks to attack the landlords?" lie answers: BVSRQJI JOi TH, KaK Koca B jqjvy CKaneT, PTOM >tcejie3HMM: nepeKycHBaH Horn TpaB? OTToro HTO C TOUT TpaBa Ha KOpHHKaX, Ilofl cedn KopeHbH noAodpaB. H HHKyfla eM, TpaBe, ne CKpHTbCH O T ropHHHX 3ydOB KOCH, rioTOMy HTO He Mcwcex OHa, KRK nraua, 0TOpBaTbCH OT 3 e j v U I H B CHHb. TaK H Mbl! BpOCJIH noraMM KpOBH B H3dH, HTO HaM nepBHH PHA rioAKcmeHHOH TpaBH? TOJDOKO JMUh AO Hac ne Aodpajmcb dn, TOJIbKO HaM ^'U, TanbKO d HauxeM He CKOCHJIH, KaK poMauiKe, TCUIOBH. Ho Tenepb KaK dyATO npodyflmincb, H depe3aMH san^iarexninJH Haul TpaKT OnpyicaeT, KaK lyMan OT cbipocra, HMH MepTBoro HeTpa. (II, 155/6, 1921) The l o c a l Cossacks had k i l l e d two o f f i c e r s while r e s i s t i n g an order to pursue a t r i b e of Kalmuks which f l e d towards Mongolia.  They turn to  Pugachov to be t h e i r leader and help them to continue the r e b e l l i o n . Rumors were c i r c u l a t i n g among the peasants that Peter I I I , who had died not long ago  i n a power struggle with Catherine the Great, had come to  48  life their  again.  According  folklore  protection or  the  popular b e l i e f he was a  Russian people usually  the are  to  defeated.  In order  to  who  Muzhiks  the  In  ruler.  those  sided with  attract  kind  need  to  the  cause,  lYigachov accepted the advice o f h i s friends t o impersonate Peter. In t h e monologue of the guard Karavaiev, t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of autumn subtly suggests a c o r r e l a t i o n between Nature and human destiny i n the forthcoming events.  TblCHHy HepTeM, THCHHy BeflbM H TtlCHHy 3KHli RQXAh I 3KHH CKBepHHH ACWCflb J CKBepHHH, CKBepHHHI CJIOBHO BOHKHaH MOHa BOJIOB JIbeTCH c Tyi Ha n o j i n H AepeBHH. CKBepHHH ROKAbl 3KHM CKBepHHH A C M « B I  RbSJBOJlOBl  K a K CKSJieTH TOIJJHX McypaaaeH, C T O H T oujj-maHHHe Bepdn,  pefiep Meflb. yk 30«rc>THe HHu;a jmcTbeB Ha seujie HM flepeBHHHHM 6pioxoM He corpexb, He B H B e c T H n T e n n o B — 3ejieHHx BepdeHHT, IIo ropjry HX CKO^ib3Hy;i ceHTfldpb, KaK HCOK, H KOCTH Kptui JIOMaeT Ha UJe<5HHK rijiaBH  OceHHHH flCOiWb.  XOJIOAHHH, CKBepHHH AOWb. 0 oceia, oceHb! TojiHe K y c T H , KaK  cc^opBaHiiH MOKHyT y  flopor.  C H , 164, Perhaps we can consider t h i s take place l a t e r .  as  the  setting  for  the  events  1921)  that  are  to  At any rate, t h i s gives the tone a n d t h e atmosphere o f  t h e rest of t h e poem.  In a symbolic passage, autumn i s presented as a  battle f i e l d a f t e r t h e f i g h t i n g i s over.  J u s t as f a l l e n leaves which the  change of season  be  has  brought down  cannot  revived  and  have  no  continuity,  49 SO  the men f a l l e n at each others' hand share the same  destiny. The character o f Pugachov is unveiled i n the conversation with the guard. On h i s return to the camp, a f t e r spying on the enemy's posts, he talks to Karavaiev: SaBTpa » K yTpy dyseT HCHan noroAa, CHBHM TafiyHOM npocica^eT XMapb. CjryuiaH, Beflb K H3 npoc-Toro poRa H cepflueM TaKOH ace CTenHoM AHKapb! H yMeio, Ha cyrKH H B e p c i H He Tporancb, CjiyiuaTb der BeTpa H TBapn mar, OTToro, H T O B rpyflH y ueusi, KaK B depuiore, BoponaeTCH 3BepeHHUieM TenjMM flyuia. Mne HpaBHTGH 3anax Tpanw, XOJIOP,OU noAcoKsceHHoM, H ceHTHfipbCKoro jmcTOjie'Ta npoT&acHHH CBHCT. (II, 167, 1921) The c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f Pugachov i n such statements as "Serdtsem stepnoi d i k a r ' " or "vorochaetsia zverionyshem tioplym dusha" r e f l e c t s a profound knowledge and perception o f Nature.  To give us a better understanding  of the above expressions, we have an i n t e r e s t i n g remark made by Esenin to his friend the painter, I l i a Ryzhenko: EHBas B TOCTHX y PtKceHKO, EcemtH uopojiry ptwcH B ero ofi-beMHCTHX nariKax, paccTaa/ifTJi OTJOAH Ha CTyjibHX, Ha noflOKOHHHKe, na C T O J I B . . . CMOipeji, Kanaji TOJIOBOH H roBopHJi: — y xedn, Hjnana, npHMO codanbH jnodoBb K npupoAe! — FIoHeMy ace codaibH? — yAiiBJifuiCH xyAoacHHK. — Ila. nan Tede CKa3aTb... MHe Ka^rCeTCH, HTO no-HacxoHiUPMy jncdnx H noHHMajoT npupofly TOvtbKO acHBOTHHe... M eiue pacTeHKa... A HHBie JBQRK xojibKO npHXBopHioxcH, HTO ^nodHT, — HM yace HeneM jnc6nTb... T H TCtfce, no-MoeMy, He HejiOBen, a dojibuian, yuHan H Aodpaa cod a i d . . . H ecjm Tedn ./IHCKOBO norjiacAHTb, TH pacTporaeiitbCH H 3an\7iaHeiirb codanbMMH cuesaMH...1 Esenin also adds another aspect o f the hero's personality: concern for h i s fellow man.  50  EeflHHe, CeAHhie MHTeiKHHKH, EM uBejM H uryMejni, nan pcoxb. BauiH rojioan KOJiochsma HOKHHMH Pac Kan iXBaji wo«bCKnM ACttCAb. Bw yjm6ajMCh TBapmi... (TT,  Here  are  human b e i n g s Pugachov  with  disgust  Turkish  the  sultan.  is  seen p a r a l l e l devoted  to  to  his  rebels  p o s s i b i l i t y of  giving  He  to  feels  bound  objects  up  remain  of  and  168, 1921) Nature.  their  everything  cause. and  He  going  dismisses  to  the  fight.  and  BCKunejia MecTb aKauHH,  ^TOO-H  3OJIOTOK) iryproH  (II, 169, 1921) Another convict would  Khlopusha.  find  instead of On  of  way  reaction  and  to  story  him,  this  to  question  he  story  three is  to  whom t h e is  and d e l i v e r  betraying  After first  The  Pugachov  basis  the  character  days turn  Nature  that him  of to  he was  into  becomes Esenin  poet  the  one  of  builds  wandering, the  as  if"  stormy to  CyMaciiieAuiaH,  pays  particular  offered hands his  of  most  a powerful Khlopusha  weather  discover  his  his  freedom  the  i f  is  the  he  government.  faithful  But,  associates.  personality.  finds  which  attention  the  camp.  followed  him  His a l l  the  destiny.  KpoBaBan Myrb!  6emeuasi  HTO TH? CMepxb? ¥ij\h HCue^eHbe KajieKaM? (II, 174, 1921) Then he  tells The  elements.  of  his  poet  urge  to  see  beautifully  the  leader.  describes  Khlopusha's  struggle  w i t h the  51  Si  TDH flHfl H TPH HOHH f J J i y K f l a J I 110 XponaM, B cojiOHue PHJI rviasaMH yaany, BeTep Bcuiocbi MOH, K3.K cojioivry, xpenaji H uenaMHflcuc/jHodMOJiaHMBOJi. Ho 03jio6jieHHoe c e p f l u e HHKoryr.^ He 3adjiyflHTCH,  3ry r o j i o B y c men cuintfHXb He j i e r K O .  (II,  174, 1921)  Nature also helped him t o s u r v i v e and gave him s t r e n g t h , i t s beauty his  feeding  spirit:  OpeHdyprcKaa 3 a p n KpacHOiiepcTHoM Bep5jDqfl,Hn;eM PaccBexHoe p o H H J i a MHe B poT MCUIOKO. H x o v i o f l H o e KOfviBoe EHMH CKB03b TbMy lIpKKHMaJI H, KaK XJie6, K HCTOUPHHHM BeKaM. npoBeAHTe, n p o B e f l H T e M e H H K HeMy, Si x o n y BHflexb axoro nejioBeKa. (II,  174, 1921)  Khlopusha's l i f e s t o r y as a tramp and outlaw i s , a t the same time, the  story o f a superhuman e f f o r t f o r physical and moral s u r v i v a l .  r e j e c t s the government's o f f e r and refuses to betray Pugachov  l i f e as an outlaw had not destroyed h i s moral f e e l i n g s .  He  because h i s  He puts the common  cause above h i s personal well-being. Esenin bypasses the period o f Pugachov's v i c t o r i e s and power  except f o r mentioning the siege o f Orenburg  and the f a c t t h a t , at one  p o i n t , a t h i r d o f the country was i n rebel hands. He describes at length the  breakdown o f morale among the r e b e l s .  A bad omen precedes the rumors  of defeat. Cxon, 3apydnH! H a B e p H o e , He c/Mxaji. 3xo Bna,eji He a... Apy-riie... MHorne... OKOJIO CaMapu c npodnToi i SaiiiKoii o-flbxa, KanaH xejinm MoaroM, ripMxpaMbiBaex r i p n Aopore.  TH,  ;  52  cjieneu, O T BaTarw CBoen O T C T O B , C THycaBoM H xpnn^ioH ApcoKbW B pBanyio uianny BopoHbero rne3Aa npocin.' ona Ha nponnTanbe CJIOBHO  y npoe3JKHX H npoxcoKux. Ho H H K T O eM He dpoc-HT Aasce KaMHH.  B Hcnyre Kpecracb Ha 3Be3Ay,  Bee GHHTajOT, HTO 3TO CTpaillHOe 3HaM6HHe,  IIpeflBeiiJaKiupe defly. H T O - T O dy;ieT. MTO-TO ROJbmO CJiyMHTbCH. ToBopHT, HaoTyriHJi vjiap H Mop, no c r y pa3 Ha JieTy dyyeT CK/ieBHBaTb nraija HejiysoHHoe CBoe cepedpo. (II, 179,  1921)  This i s a symbolic v i s i o n of the forthcoming catastrophe. introducing t h i s episode the Eighteenth Century.  By  Esenin delves deeper into the psychology o f From time immemorial man has t r i e d to understand  Nature and to have i t on h i s side.  Correlating natural phenomena to a  future event that involves human actions i n an attempt to foresee the results ahead o f time i s an o l d S l a v i c custom which was described as f a r back as "The Lay of Igor's Campaign':  Toryra nocMOTpe^i Hropb H3 CBeT«aoe cc/ii-me n yBHfleji, TbMa O T Hero Bee B O H C K O noKpmia. H CKa3aJi Hropb ApyacHHe CBoeii: "SpaTbtf H flpyacHHaJ Jlynuie B duxBe nac-rb, HeM B nOJIOH CflaTbCH. A CHZ*eM, dpaTbn, Ha C B O H X dop3HX KOHeM, norjiOTHM Ha C H H H M J\OH'." 3anajia KHH3IO AyMa /Jpna Bc:.uiKoro OTBSflaTb H 3HaMeHHe nedecHoe <.ty sac/iorn-Ma. " X o n y , — CKii3avi, — nonbe npe.noMHTb y G T e n n nojioBeuKoH c BawH, pycHHH! X o n y ro^ioBy ct>oio cjict-XHTb jrado HcnuTb UiejiOMOM H3 /l,oHy".2 HTO  The news o f a t e r r i b l e defeat of Pugachov's army i s brought by a survivor, Chumakov:  0 3Ta HOHb I Kai< MormibHue nwm, Ho nedy T H H V Kaneio-nje odjiaKa. Buivreuib B none, 30Beuib, 30Beuib, rOiHHeuii, orapyio paTb, HTO jiervia nc-A Capern'oH,  53 H TJltfAHUXb H He BHfllUIIb TO JW 3H<5HTCH pOKb, To jm jtaeA-me nojiHHma nJiaitywMX CKe^eTOB. HeT, 3TO He -iBrycT, KorAa ocHnaioTCH OBCH, Koryj,a BeTep no nojimt ax KOJIOTHT AydHHKOH rpydoM. MepTBHe, MepTBHe, nocMOTpnTe, npyroM MepTBenH, —  (TI, 183, 1921) Th\S description of the b a t t l e f i e l d a f t e r the slaughter i s one of the poet's l i o s t powerful l y r i c passages. who,  It i s seen through the eyes of the survivor,  i n nightmarish manner, describes the skeletons of h i s comrades moving  in the f i e l d s of rye.  He f e e l s both sorrow and sincere regret that he i s  not lying there with the r e s t of the army. The peasants receive the news and are uncertain whether to leave Pugachov for t h e i r farms or side with him i n a desperate attempt to reverse the results of the b a t t l e . for  The Cossack Burnov bursts out with sudden zest  life: KaK ace CMeprb?  Pa3Be uBCjih 3Ta B cepflue noMec THTCH, Korfla B TIeH3eHCKOH rydepmiH y Meid ecrb CBOH AOM? Eajmo COJIHHUIKO MHe, JicajiKO Mecnii, MaJIRO TOnOJEb USA HH3KHM OKHOM. Ta/IbKO flJIH aCHBHX BeAb 6 JiarOCJIOBeHHH POUJH, nOTOKH, C T e n H H sejiewi. CjryiuaM, njieBaxb MHe na BCIO BcejieHHyio,  E C J M 3aBTpa 3flecb He dyoeT MeHH! fl xony acHTb, acHTb, :«HTb, SCuTb AO cipaxa H 6OJVA[  XoTb KapMaHHHKOM, XOTb 3CUIOTOpOTn©M, Jhwb 6u BKAeTb, KaK MHIM OT paflocra npHTaioT B TIOJIB, Jhmb 6H c/mmaTh, Kai< JwryiiiKH OT B o c r o p r a nowr B KOJiORtie. R6J10HOBWA. u B e T O M (5pH3;KeTCH Ryuia.  M O H 6ejjasi,  B CHHee njiaMH BeTep rvia3a pa3flyji. PaR'A 6ora HaynnTe MeHH, HayMHTe MeHH, H rr MTO yroflHO cflejiaio, Gae.iaio HTO VTC-AHO, HTO6 3BeHeTb B He^iOBeHbeM ca/ry! (II,  186/7,  1921)  54  These lines are p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g since, i n l e s s than f i v e years, the poet was to commit s u i c i d e .  A heightened awareness of l i f e and i t s beauty i s o f t e n f e l t by  men f a c i n g v i o l e n t or sudden death— i f they are not overwhelmed by f e a r . 'Hie Cossack Tavrogov suggests to h i s comrades that they should capture and d e l i v e r Pugachov to the enemy, convincing everybody that i t i s  their only chance of s u r v i v a l . At f i r s t  Pugachov cannot understand why h i s associates have  turned against him and t r i e s to convince them to f o l l o w him to A s i a where they can regain t h e i r strength and return with new forces.  Only when he  is bound and w a i t i n g to be delivered to h i s enemy does he f u l l y r e a l i z e h i s hopeless p o s i t i o n . Ifle >K TH? fee 5K Xoneuib BCTaTh —  6hU]3Sl MOUlb? pyKOK) He Moxeurb flBHHVTbCfl" ICHOCTb, lOHOCTb" KaK MaHCKaH HOHb, 0T3BeHejia T H HepeMyxoK B eienHoM npoBHHUHH. B O T Bcn^iHBaeT, BcnviuBaeT CHHb HoraaH H S A ^ O H O M , T H H B T MHTKOio rapbK) c cyxMX nepejiecHH. 3o.fl0TOK> H3BeCTKOH Hafl HH3eHbKHM flOMOM BpH3^CeT IIOipOKHH H Tei'lVIHH MeCHL*. Tfle-TO xpunvio H HexoTH KVKapeKHeT neTyx. B pBaHHe H03flpH ITHJIbK) HHXHeT OKOJIKUa, H Bee flajibine, Bee pajume, BCTpeBaKHBUiH C O H H H H jryr, BeacHT KOJiOKOjibHHK, noKa 3a ropoM He pacKOjieTCH. TH,  H  Boace M O H !  Keyu&ejm npnuuia nopa? Heyacejib nofl AyuioM Tan ace naaaeiin,, KaK noA iiomeH?  A Ka3ajiocb... Ka3ajiocb eine B 4 e p a . . .  ^oporae M O H . . . Aoporne... xop-pomne... (II, 192, The f i n a l l i n e s of the pe-m sound l i k e the l a s t words of a dying man. The culmination of Pugachov's tragedy i s i n these moments when lie i s  w a i t i n g to be given up to h i s enemies by h i s own associates.  1921)  55 Such an ending to the poem i s quite j u s t i f i a b l e : f o r a strong and profound nature l i k e Pugachov's, no torture Iv, the enemy can exceed the suffering caused by the disappearance of h i s army and by betrayal by h i s associates. This poem was written i n the period when Esenin was preoccupied by the theme o f the i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n o f Russia, a time between the creation of Sorokoust and V o l c h i a G i b e l .  He went back deep into h i s t o r y to f i n d  Pugachov, a revolutionary of the p a ^ w i t h whom the Communists would eagerly identify.  The main characters o f the poem personify those human q u a l i t i e s  of the world "Tainstvennyi i d r e v n i i " which the poet wanted to save.  In  elaborating to such an extent on the r e l a t i o n between the characters of the poem and Nature, he was t r y i n g to make h i s contemporaries aware o f an important aspect of t h e i r heritage which was  i n danger of being destroyed.  There are other poems of t h i s period which could give a broader picture of Esenin's a r t i s t i c world.  "0 Land, you are my Land" (Storona 1' 1  ty moia storona) (1921) i s a gloomy v i s i o n of the c i t y , i t s l i f e l e s s and monstrous forms -- the s t r e e t lamps shaped l i k e heads without mouths; skeleton-like buildings but also a church tower with b e l l s to remind the poet of a water m i l l and sacks o f f l o u r as a consolation i n h i s nightmare -.something f a m i l i a r and more pleasant from the v i l l a g e world. Tan  HeMHoro TeruieM n 6e30"ojit>HeH.  riocMOTpH: CJIOBHO  uey&  c n e j i e T O B  AOMOB,  MC/IbHHK, HBGeT KOJIOKOJ&UH  Meflitbie MeuiKH  KOJIOKOJIOB.  (II, 105,  1921)  Not expecting any change or improvement i n h i s own destiny, he reacts to c i t y l i f e with a hollow f e e l i n g .  The poet i s deeply disappointed i u the  56  unhappiness which has s e t t l e d on h i s existence. "flpyr Moil, pjpyr M O M , 3aKpHBaeT o # H a jiiwb  npo3peHiine  Besyuj  cMepxb".  (II,  105,  1921)  The poem Yes! I Have Made up My Mind (Da! teper' resheno) (1922/23) belongs to the cycle "Moscow the Tavern C i t y . " the  I t gives an i n s i g h t into  poet's bohemian way of l i f e and shows the s p l i t between h i s early  life  i. i t h . a l l i t s hopes and i d e a l s and h i s a s s o c i a t i o n i n the new m i l i e u with desperate people who  l i v e without i d e a l s .  He w i l l not be returning to v i l l a g e l i f e of  but n o s t a l g i c a l l y thinks  it. HH3KHM  ROM.  6e3  Meiui  G TaphiM  nec  MOM  AaBHO  MOCKOBCKHX  Ha  y k e p e x b ,  ccyryjiHTCH, HOflox.  H3ornyTHX CVAHJI  3Haxb,  yjwuax  une  6ov.  (II,  119, 1922/23)  In the new environment, he seeks friendship and understanding:  ]Ryu Ho H  it M  raM  BCK) HMxaio  B  STO-VI  KOHb  JioroBe  Hanpojiex,  CXMXH  H c 6aHAHTaMM  scyxKQM, 3apn,  AO  npocxMTyxKaM acapio  cnMpx.  (IT,  120, 1922/23)  He finds only disappointment, i n common w.i i.li people from the undo rworld. "H MHe  xaKoii  Me,  xeriepb  He  KaK  BH,  yiixn  npi, iamHH, :  Ha3aA".  (II,  120, 1922/2".)  liis disgust with the c i t y i s powerfully expressed by the contrast, of "I.ogove Zhutkom" to the world of Nature. *  L tai Les mine, I.. P.  57  He considers himself a l o s t man. not  His misfortune i s that hr i s  able to return to h i s former ideals or to the countryside.  friends have only g r i e f to share with  him.  And h i s  new  Footnotes r:senin's Poet i.c Response to the I n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of Russia  1. N i k o l a i V e r z h b i t s k i i , Vstrechi Vostoka, 1961), p. 48.  s Eseniiiym ( T b i l i s i :  2. Slovo o polku Igoreve (Moskva: Izdatel'stvo l i t e r a t u r a , 1967), p. 38. In modern Russian.  Zaria  Khudozhestvennaia  59  VIII  Esenin a f t e r h i s T r i p Abroad The Poet of Soviet R e a l i t y  Esenin i s an e l u s i v e poet.  His d a r i n g imagination penetrates  beyond the casual lineaments of l i f e and to the roots of human emotions. In some instances i t i s d i f f i c u l t to Fullv  comprehend the meaning of a  poem or group of poems without a n a l y z i n g i t i n conjunction w i t h h i s other works.  Such i s the case w i t h poems i n which the poet expresses  concern  about the disappearance of the o l d world, notably''SorokoustVVolcflia gibel''"and others. After  h i s t r i p abroad,! Esenin's conception of Russia changed;  n a t u r a l l y t h i s was r e f l e c t e d i n h i s work. The i n d u s t r i a l achievements o f the western nations made a profound impression on him.  He t a s t e d the f r u i t s of technology: flew i n an a i r p l a n e ,  drove a car on German and B e l g i a n highways, stayed i n f i r s t c l a s s h o t e l s , crossed the A t l a n t i c i n l u x u r i o u s ocean l i n e r s New York.  and saw the g l i t t e r of  A l l t h i s convinced him of the usefulness of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . BcnoMHHJi npo " A H M oxeHecTBa", npo Haury flepeBuro, rfle Hyrb JW He y Ka/K&oro My>KHKa B rode C I I H T TejiOK Ha cojicue vum C B H H B H C nopocsixaMH, B G I I O M H H J I noc/ie repMaHCKMX H dejibrnHCKHX uiocce nauiH Henpojia3Hhie Aoporn n cxa/i pyraTB Bcex neruiHiciiiHXCH aa "Pycb", Kai< 3a rpH3b H B I U H B O G T b . C oToro MOMeHTa a p a 3 ^ n o 6 H J i HMiiyio P O C C H K ) . (IV,  159,  1923)  This i s q u i t e a strong r e a c t i o n and represents a fundamental change i n h i s a t t i t u d e towards the countryside.  However, his  general and to e x t r a c t s p e c i f i c meaning from i t ,  one has  account what he s a i d on other occasions.  statement i s  to take into  In h i s autobiography  dated 24-4-1924,  60  there is the paragraph:  Haiiie eABa ocTHBiuee KO';I -i-.be MHe He HpaBHXCH. Ho H oneHb.He JUC6JUO A.yepwroi. AwepHKa 3To T O T GMpafl, FAe nponaAaex He T O J I L K O H C K V C C T B O , H O H BOoSine jryHuwe nopHBH Me^ioBeMecTBa. E C J I K ceroAHH AepicaT Kypc Ha AMepiiKy, T O H T O T O B T o r ^ a npeAnonec-Tb Hauie cepoe Hedo H nam neM3a>tc: H3da, neMJioro Bpoc/iy. B 3eMJiio, npnejio, H3 npnc/ia T O P H H T orpoMHan acepAB, B/iajieKe MaineT X B O G T O M Ha BeTpy T O U ^ H jiouiaAeHica. 3 T O He T O , I T O HedocKpedH, KOTopue aajm noKa M T O T O J i b K O PoKpejyiepa H MaKKopMHKa, H O 3aTO 3TO T O caMoe, H T O pacTH^io y Hac ToJEToro, ^ocToeBCKoro, ITyiUKHHa, JlepMOHTOBa H Ap.  MHS  HpaBHTc;n i^iiBHjn-i3au,Kfi.  I  (V, 18,  1924)  What he d i s l i k e s i n America i s the neglect of a r t and the lack of inner culture.  His outcry against poverty i n Russia i s now  juxtaposed to  teclinic.nl development as a great p o s s i b i l i t y for human progress.  But lie  sets one condition: i f Russia has to s a c r i f i c e the type of human understanding and relationship that gave r i s e to Leo Tolstoy, Fiodor Dostoyevskii, Pushkin, Lermontov, e t c . , then the poet would p r e f e r the poor huts to remain as they are.  Nevertheless, he was concerned about the poverty of the Russian people  and saw i n i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n well as a way  a p o s s i b i l i t y to improve human conditions as  to encourage r u s t i c c u l t u r e .  Earlier^ Esenin had been opposed to the transformation of. Russia since he d i d not a n t i c i p a t e the p o s s i b i l i t y of e s t a b l i s h i n g a new harmony between man and Nature or men and The e f f e c t of the t r i p abroad was "Tainstvcnnyi i d r e v n i i " world. to Soviet r e a l i t y . new experience.  and better  Man. to alienate him from h i s  A f t e r seeing America Esenin became closer  There are a number of poems which d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t h i s  He made an attempt  tn  fonn new poetic i d e a l s : to see his  "Rodi.na cherei: kamennoe i Stal'nue"; to find some common ground with the  builders of Communism.  He accepts the new epoch with Vladimir  ilich  Lenin i n s p i r i n g and guiding the country. In the poem' Stanzas"(Stan_sy) (1924), Esenin t r i e d to project (  a new image of himself as having a serious r o l e i n Soviet society.  Xony H OHTb neBiipM H rpaiCAairtiHOM) Hxor3 Kaw'OMy,  KaK rop^oGTb i-i npuMep,  BHJI HaCTOHUJHM, A He CBOflHHM CHHOM — B Be^MKHX uiTaTax CCCP.  ( I l l , 44, 1924) He asks h i s readers not to be overconcerned about h i s drunken incidents and to pay more attention to h i s a r t : i n h i s eyes are " p r o z r e n i i divnykh svet." In Baku, P i o t r Chagin showed him the workings of an o i l n finery and explained i t s meaning f o r the future o f the country.  To Esenin, t h i s  was almost l i k e a r e v e l a t i o n and he was quite enthusiastic. HecbTb Ha BOAe — KaK ofleHJio nepca, H Benep no He6y PaccHnaji 3Be3flHHH  xyjib.  Ho fl TOTOB nOKJIfleTbCH cepAuew, HTO cpoHapn npei<pacHeK n B e 3 A B CaKy. H nO^IOH A.VU 06 HHA.yC TpHWHOH MOIHH, 51 cjamy r a / i o c H e j i o B e i b H X CHJI. HHCTHM  /JOBCflbHO C HefiecHHX HaM  Ha  HaC  B c e x CBeTi-m,  —  3eivuie  ycrpoHXb  OTO npome.  ( I l l , 46/7, 1924) T h - e lines surprised many readers  and t h i s is die farthest Esenin went  in an unreserved acceptance o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and the Soviet government.  62  It appeared as i f he had f i n a l l y found the basis f o r h i s a r t . There are several other poems, based on h i s new f(  Letter t o a Woman '(Pis'mo k zhenshchine) 1  i d e a l , such a s  (1924) where he speaks  apologetically  of h i s bohemian past which, at. one time, served a s a refuge from the r e a l i t y t h a t lie did not have the capacity to grasp. He  OHaJiH B H ,  IxO 55 B CnJIQUIHOM flHMV, B pa3Bopo4e'HHOM 6ypeM 6nxe C Toro H MynaKCi), M T O He noHMy Kyaa HeceT nac p o K C O O H T H H . 51 H3<3e,Kaji nafleHbH c K p y r a .  —  Tenepb B C OBe TC K O H CTopoHe  51 CaMHH flpOCTHHH  nOuVTHHK.  ( I l l , 57, But time helped him to evolve and to understand contemporary The poem Letter (C  particularly  to/ny  1924) Russia.  Grandfather"(Pis'mo dedu) (1924) i s  i n t e r e s t i n g f o r the p o s s i b l e p a r a l l e l with "Sorokoust',' a  poem that has been discussed at length e a r l i e r .  In both cases  lie describes  a t r a i n , thus we can see concretely how h i s a t t i t u d e changed i n the course of time. While i n Batum, the poet i n v i t e s  h i s grandfather t o come t o the  warm south, although the distance i s an obstacle which cannot be overcome other than by t i ' a i n .  His grandfather does not have f a i t h i n such types o f  transportation, so the poet t r i e s t o convince  him o f i t s advantage  horse. H T O 3 a JianaAb flapoBoo! Ee, HasepHoe, B TepMaHHH K y m u m . HyryHi-flaM pox ee npHBHK  K orrao,  M AHM HaA HeK, icik- rpnea 'lepen, r y c x H neTOK.  —  over the  63  TaKyro 6 rpnBy HauieMy KOHTO — TO CKOJIbKO 6 BHUIJIO Pa3Hux WBao'p  H IIPTOK!  H 3Haio — BpeMH flaxe KaMeHb icpouiHT... H TH, CTapHK, KorAa-HHdyflb noHMeurb, H T O , flatce jxymuyio BrtpHTan B cain-t .flomaflb, B /ta^ieiOTM KpaM JlHUTb K O C T H npHBe3enib.. . (Ill,  82,  1924)  At one time Esenin c a s t i g a t e d the t r a i n as a symbol o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n ; i n t h i s case, three years l a t e r , he p o e t i c i z e s the same o b j e c t .  Such r e v e r s a l s  are not rare i n h i s work and are one o f the reasons f o r more serious study of h i s a r t . He i s approaching h i s beloved countryside w i t h a new conception of l i f e and a r t , r e j e c t i n g h i s former i d e a l s and negating the v i s i o n that had been the basis of h i s e a r l y p o e t r y . HeyroTHaa amaKaH jiyHHOc TB H TOCKa 6eCKOHeUHHX paBHHH, — BOT HTO BH&eJI H B pe3ByK> KHOCTb, H T O , JW5H, npoicMHaji He O A M H . Uo floporaM ycoxume Bepon H Tejie:masi necHH KOJiec... H H 3a H T O He xoTeji H Tenepb O H , H T O 6 MHe cjjyuiaTb ee npHBejiocb. PaBHOAyineH H CTaji K jianyraM, H ona«HHH oroHb MHe He uvui, JX^e HOJioHb BeceHHioro Bbiory fl aafieflHOCTbnojiei-i p&ojuoSvui. (Ill,  1.56,  1925)  Esenin i s f u l l y aware o f poverty as a major cause o f human s u f f e r i n g i n Russia.  Ilei-c s o c i a l concern p r e v a i l s over the o l d p o e t i c notions such  64  as "mir tainstvennyi," "mir drevnii."  Moreover, the poet is turning  against that which has been, to a great extent, the basis of his poetry. .Nov; he wants to see an iron Russia. This new direction in his work brought him close to the practical revolutionaries of the time and led to the creation of several long semi-epic poems with themes taken from the October Revolution or the C i v i l War, such a / The Song about the Grand March"(Pesn' o velikom pokhode) (1924),''Poem about  36_/;(Poema  36) (1924)/'Ballad about Twenty Six'^Ballada  o dvadtsati shesti) (1924), etc. These poems have l i t t l e to do with Nature, and, for that reason, w i l l not be analyzed in this paper.  65  Esenin at the Crossroad?between Old and New Russia  In h i s l a s t two years Esenin v a c i l l a t e s between o l d and new p o e t i c i d e a l s , unable t o r e c o n c i l e them.  Some o f h i s poems r e f l e c t an attempt  to f i n d an a r t i s t i c modus Vivendi between two extremes.  Perhaps h i s own  words would be the best i l l u s t r a t i o n : OcTajiCH E npcuwoM H O A H O H Horoio, C-TpeMHCb AoraaTb CTajibi-ryio paTb, C.KOJibMcy H naflaio flpyrow. ( I l l , 48, 1924) In the poem "Rus' b e s p r i i u t n a i a " he w r i t e s w i t h scorn about those v.ho brag about the k i l l i n g o f Red s o l d i e r s .  But he i s sympathetic and  f u l l y understands those who r e j e c t the new Russia and remain i n the p a s t , condemned to a slow death. O H H HecacaToH pcwcbio na Kopmo OcTajmcb florHHBarb H ocHnaTbcn. ( I l l , 48, 1924) In another poem,  ''Soviet Russia"(Rus' s o v i e t s k a i a ) (1924), we f i n d  e n t h u s i a s t i c b u i l d e r s of the new Russia: C TOptl HAeT KpeCTbHHCKHH K O M C O M O J I , H noA rapMOHHKy, HanpuBaH pbHHO, rioicT arnTKii BeAHoro ^eMbHHa, 2 BecejMM K P H K O M orjiauian ROJI. ( I ' l l , 23, 1924) Further,the poem  Disappearing Russia (Rus' ukhodiashchaia)  (1924) shows the poet's*unhappiness about h i s r o l e i n the new Russia: KaKoii cicaHAaji! KAKOM dojibuioii  CKai-vuvi!  51 O H V i'iLflCH B V 3 K O M Beflh H MOr RSLTb He  4TO  T O , HTO  ITpOMeaCVTKe .  RRJl,  MHe flasajiocb paa,n liryTKH. ( I l l , 52, 1924)  lie i s self-reproachful f o r not p a r t i c i p a t i n g more a c t i v e l y i n bringing the  "great idea" to r e a l i z a t i o n .  his  age.  Avoiding Soviet r e a l i t y l e f t him behind  But now love o f Russia compels him to dwell more on the major  issues h i s country i s facing - - a n a t t i t u d e frequently encountered i n Russian l i t e r a t u r e .  However, two l i n e s from the previous poem show how  deep i s h i s g r i e f at being neglected and ignored by h i s MOST. noa3HH  3Aecb  Jl& H, n o x c a j y H ,  6ojame  contemporaries:  He Hy.-KHa,  caM H Toace 3#ecb He iryaceH.  ( I N , 23, 1924) His f e e l i n g of f u t i l i t y comes from the r e a l i z a t i o n that the world which he recreated i n h i s poetry i s r e j e c t e d by the b u i l d e r s of the new Russian society. Rus"  1  At one time he had hoped that the values of "Dereviannaia  might be saved and would serve as a basis of the new society.  poem About  In the  Homeless Russia (Rus' b e s p r i i u t n a i a ) (1924), seeking away  out of his b i t t e r l o n e l i n e s s , h e . i d e n t i f i e s with the sorrows of O l i v e r Twist. MHe BcnoMHwiacb rieHajibHaH HCTOpHH  —  HeTopHH o6 CrtMBepe TBHCTe..  ^ (III,  53, 1924)  Further i n the same poem he also i d e n t i f i e s with the innocent sufferings of orphan children(who were quite numerous a f t e r the Revolution and the C i v i l Warjnnd with the wounded, at times broken, but great voices o f  67  Russian poetry: Pushkin, Lermontov, Kol'tsov, Nekrasov.  It i s p a i n f u l f o r  F.scnin to see that his a r t has not been included i n the buildim; of the nei-. Russia. Esenin believed i n the great future of h i s country and uiv.rotestingly, prepared  to s u f f e r and wait f o r the new  that, which he can't " P r i g o l u b i t ' i potselovat'."  quietly,  Russia to outgrow  But ho wanted the future  Russia to use h i s poetry: Ho  H  Torfla,  Korfla B O BceM njiaueTe npoMflex Bpatwa njieueu, HcHe3HeT  Jiaxb  H  rpyc-Tb,  —  H Cyzry B o c n e B a T b BceM cymec-TBOM B nooTe •Wee Tyro n a c T b 3eujm C Ha3BaHbeM KpaTKHM "Pyeb". ( I l l , 24,  1924)  Tliis emerges l i k e a confession, gathered from several poems i n which Esenin exposed h i s inner s e l f , the f u l l spectrum of d i f f e r e n t at  and,  times, contradictory emotions: g r i e f , regret, self-reproach, hope,  love and devotion to h i s country.  However, i n s p i t e of h i s yearning f o r  the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of d i f f e r e n t p o e t i c notions, there p e r s i s t e d , deep within him and h i s a r t , the d i v i s i o n between the new  and the old Russia.  Perhaps h i s most successful attempt towards r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of these two opposing l o y a l t i e s i s to be found i n the work Anna Snegina, a l y r i c - e p i c poem i n f i v e v a r i e d cantos, of simple structure and harmony ol  composition.  The poem has two themes: revolution and love which have  p a r a l l e l development but subtle interconnection.  In addition there is an  unusual number of characters: the m i l l e r , Anna, Pron, the poet, and cohman.  The events take place  the  in d i f f e r e n t settings: I'adovo, Kriusha,  68  Petersburg and London.  The poet shows remarkable a r t i s t i c s k i l l i n  organising varied material -- including events of h i s t o r i c magnitude -yet always maintaining harmonic balance.  Though Nature receives less  i t iSjnevertheless, an i n t e g r a l part o f  emphasis than i n previous works the poem.  "Cejio, 3HaHHT, Hauie — PaAOBO, noHHTaft, Asa c Ta.  ^sopoBj TOMV,  KTO  ero orjmpjmaji,  ripHHTC TBeHHH HaUlH MeCTa. BoraTH Mbi jiecoM H B O A bio,  EcTb nacTCniua, ecTb nojin. H no BceMy yroAbio Pacca.<eHH Tonojia.  (Ill, This calm, harmonious and, at the same time  273,  1925)  b e a u t i f u l p i c t u r e from the  Russian countryside i s not accompanied by the usually abundant flow o f emotions.  Nevertheless, there i s warmth and closeness between the poet and  this setting where much o f the poem i s developed. In the beginning, Esenin, g i v i n g a sketchy d e s c r i p t i o n o f a v i l l a g e before the Revolution, depicts problems which are developed poem i n the course o f time and events.  throughout the  He outlines the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n by  comparing Radovo - - a prosperous- v i l l a g e , with Kriusha - - a poor one. But here Esenin emphasizes human nature as a source o f c o n f l i c t : Ho y  JHQAH  —  Bee rpeuxHhie Ayuin.  MHornx rvia3a  —  HTO  KJIHKH.  C coceAHeK AepeBHH KpnyuiH Kocmn-icb Ha i-rac  MVXHKH.  .  -  (TIT, 274, 1925) The p o l i t i c a l i n s i g n i f i c a n c e of the v i l l a g e in two lines:  in T s a r i s t Russia i s conveyed  69  Pa3  —  A Mb!  H a TO  fviacTH,  JIHUlb  OHM  BJiacra,  npOCTOH napoA.  ( I l l , 274,  1925)  liscnii: gives us these descriptions as something natural without indulging in social criticism.  Later in the poem  these elements arc shown to have  repercussions in times o f war and revolution. In rejecting the w a r , he used the type o f argument frequently found in the language o f his contemporaries: BoKHa MHe B C W Aymy H3ie7ia. 3a neu-ro Hy.icoM HHTepec CTpejlSUL H B MHe (5JM3KOO V3JIO H rpyAbio Ha 6paTa j i e a . H  noHHJi,  HTO  H  —  B Tbmy >ice Kynuu Aa  nrpyuiKa, 3HaTb,  H, TBepAo npocTt-fBUiHCb c n y u i K a M H , Peottui jrauib B C T i - i x a x BoeBaTb.  ( I l l , 275,  1925)  This narration i s not very a r t i s t i c ; the most likely reason for such verbosity is that the poet never experienced war. The February Revolution is described more vividly: CBcoofla B3MeTHyjiacb HevicTOBO. H B posoBO-CMpaAHCM orHe TorAa HaA C T p a n o i o Ka^n-ripc TBOsaji KepeHCKHH- Ha CejioM KOHe.  ( I l l , 275, 1925) The newly-created conditions are described very cleverly through the use of the image of f i r e whose pink flame and f o u l smell emphasize the unresolved situation.  The -figure o f Kerenskii on the white horse points out the nominal  change in Russian government. The poet spent the time between the two Revolutions in his native vii Inge.  On his way from the deserted-^ army t u the countryside he was  70  cheered by the t r i p and the sight of the v i l l a g e under moonlight. /iopora A O B O ^ H O xopomatt r i p H H T H a H , XvOaAHaa 3BeHb. Jlyna 30/LOTOK) nopaii'io . OcHnajia Aa^ib Aepe-BOKb. ( I l l , 276, The landscapes seem to accommodate his inner d e l i g h t .  1925) As he approaches  the  watermill -- a f a m i l i a r place where h i s friend the m i l l e r l i v e s -- Nature receives him i n a f r i e n d l y manner: H E O T H Ha Me^IbHHne...  ELtbHHK OcunaH GBeMbMH  CBeTJIHKOB.  ( I l l , 277,  1925)  U'atennills are usually situated i n b e a u t i f u l secluded areas and, for that reason, are often used as settings f o r f a i r y t a l e s and romances.  The  harmony between the poet and the scene he describes flows into the meeting of the two f r i e n d s : O T pa/locTH CTapnM MejibHHK He MCviceT CKa3aTb AByx C J I O B : "rojrydMiiK! J\s. T H J M ? Cepryxa! 03H6, HSJA I noAH, npoApor? Jla GTaBb T H C K o p e e , CTapyxa, Ha C T O / I caMOBap H nupor!" ( I l l , 277,  1925)  This burst of joy and excitement, based on simple and profound human r e l a t i o n s , plays a s p e c i a l r o l e i n the poem's composition; i t serves a s a contrast to hate, death, war and revolution and maintains the balance among the varied designs of the work.  The poet, successively changing h i s  focus between Nature and human r e l a t i o n s , continues in the same moud:  Rzry a  pa3pocuiMMCH ca^OM, JIHUP 3afleBaeT cupeHb TaK MVUl MOMM BCITHX!lyBUIHM B3rjIHflaM  CocTapHBiiiHHca njie'reHb.  CUT,  278,  1925)  11 is emotional response to the sight of the f a m i l i a r place i s not as vivacious as that of the m i l l e r towards the poet at the moment of t h e i r mooting.  But there i s an essontiul s i m i l a r i t y which can be simply described  as joy of l i f e j w h i l e the l i l a c flower which brushes h i s face subtly suggests an intimacy between him and Nature and evokes memories of h i s e a r l y youth: •  Koryra-TO y TOH B O H t c a j i H T K H MHe CBUIO iuecTHaa,naTb jier H fleByiUKa B 6ejio'& H a K H A K e  CKa3ajia M H e jiacicoBO: "HeT!"  Rajieime,  imme  6mm.  He y r a e . . . M H B e e B 3 T H vop}.i jsc6vum, TOT  o 6 p a 3 BO  Ho Majio JW6WM  MHe  Hac.  CHI,  278,  1925)  Without b i t t e r n e s s f o r h i s u n f u l f i l l e d love, he reminisces on Anna and her impact on him during h i s teens. Nature i s unveiled e x c l u s i v e l y i n r e l a t i o n to the m i l l e r , Anna and the poet who,  together, form a s o l i d unit  i n the l y r i c h a l f o f the poem.  But the poet also plays the r o l e i n a-n epic design of the work and t h i s simple device serves to connect the two parts.  From the m i l l e r he goes  to v i s i t a peasant gathering o f the poor neighbouring v i l l a g e , Kriusha. There, from the Siberian convict, Pron, we learn that the peasant v i s i o n of the Revolution i s e s s e n t i a l l y based on taking the land from the landowner The poet also reveals h i s hopes that ;he problems of Russian peasantry w i l l be solved by Lenin:  72  "CKajKH. K T O Tanoe JleHHH?" 51 THXO OTBeTHJl: "OH  —  BH".  ( I l l , 284,  1925)  On another occasion he goes with Pron to the landowner, Snegina, to present the peasants' demand f o r land d i s t r i b u t i o n .  Even though vaguely,  this again shows the poet's sympathy f o r the revolutionary side. There i s no elaboration of October events, only b r i e f reactions of d i f f e r e n t characters. while the m i l l e r ' s wife  Pron's words are: " l a s r ^ d o s t i chut' ne pomer"  says: riponaji;.: Pacen, nponajia... riortidjia KopMHJiKua Pycb..." ( I l l , 280,  The poet's own memory of the Revolution was He noMHto Torflauimoc He  3 Haw,  HTO  CRejiaji  1925)  also quite gloomy:  CO6HTHH,  Upon  51 d H C T p o VMHSL/ICH B nirrep Pa3BeHTb TOCKV H C O H . CypoBHe, rpo3HHe T O A H ! Ho pa3Be Bcero onncaTb? ( I l l , 296,  1925)  The tone of the epithets and the nature of the poet's mood r e v e a l his l y r i c reaction to that period of Russian h i s t o r y , so f u l l of human s u f f e r i n g .  It  is i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the peasants are not i d e a l i z e d i n the t i a d i t i o n a l way  but, rather, are portrayed with a l l t h e i r f a u l t s , as manifested during  that dramatic period when the o l d were creating a new  government.  regime had been destroyed and  the  'Hie poet describes grotesque scenes  communists in  which "chumazyi. zbrod" plays "korovam tambovskii I'okstrot" on seized pianos.  73  The peasants are also shown to lack p o l i t i c a l awareness at the c r u c i a l moment of history.  They hate any government ami any tax, and are completely  obsessed with accumulating rubles.  The figure of Pron's brother Lahutia  i l l u s t r a t e s three negative c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s :  y PIpoHa 6bui o'paT J\n6y\:s\,  My/KWK — HTO TBOH 1'IHTblll T.V3 : f i l l , .ZD2, -J02.O r  ft i s not accidental that Labutia i s the f i r s t out from t h e i r estate.  to go to throw the Snegins  This i s important because i t expresses one side of  Fsenin's experience and h i s understanding of the Revolution. Two characters are  d i s t i n c t from the mass of peasants: the m i l l e r  and the Siberian convict, Pron. Kriusha.  The l a t t e r dreams of creating a commune in  The poet has some respect f o r him, e s p e c i a l l y regarding his w i l l -  power and a b i l i t y to a c t .  The breath of the cold and harsh Siberian climate  prevails i n h i s character. He i s portrayed o b j e c t i v e l y .  For example, there  i s no warmth in.the l i n e about h i s death:  y3HaH, HTO  B  flBafluaTOM  PaccTpejiHH Orjio6jwai  rOfle  Upon.  (ITT, 'Hie description of the m i l l e r , however, i s f u l l e r .  297,  1925)  He i s unveiled, on  the one hand, i n r e l a t i o n to h i s fellow man and, on the other, subtly reflected i n the descriptions of Nature,  i o r example, the poet's  first  reaction a f t e r t h e i r meeting speaks of the harmony between his friend and Nature: "Hyl vecher zadumchivo chudnyi kak dnr/.h'ia ulybka v l i t s e . " Further, when the m i l l e r t e l l s about the generosity of Nature: 'CUM JieTOM rpn6oB H nro/i. y IiaC XOTb B MoCKBy 'Vld-'ilVblM.  74  H A H M H 3Aecb, fipaTeu, A O nepTa, CaMa Tan H O A nopox TI npeT. ( I l l , 277,  1925)  there i s a p a r a l l e l to the same feature of h i s own character. The m i l l e r does not p a r t i c i p a t e i n the peasant struggle for land; moreover, when Anna and her mother are driven out of t h e i r house, lie takes  them to his own home. depicts such a man  It i s a measure of Esenin's a r t i s t i c s k i l l that he  as the intermediary between a landowner's daughter and  a poet who appears to be on the muzhiks' side.  Through a character who i s  neither a d i r e c t winner nor a loser i n the Revolution, Esenin i s able to convey human f e e l i n g s of compassion and care f o r those who  suffer.  More-  over, i n the t o t a l p i c t u r e of the Revolution the m i l l e r serves to balance the negative characters and those unnecessary  human sufferings that accompany  any revolution. The love theme i s never developed and the contacts between Anna and the poet are dominated by memories of teenage love and arc told i n fragments intermingled with war and revolution. the dialogue i s a warm r e c o l l e c t i o n of the past.  During t h e i r f i r s t meeting However, they are  unable  to connect the past and the present which could have brought them together again. Cryiuajiacb, TVMaHi-yiacb A a j i i . . . .  He 3 Haw, 3aneM H Tporaji nepnaTKH ee H UKUb. -JtyHa xoxoTajia, Kan  KJIOVH.  H B cepAue xoxb npe.KHero H B T , r i o - C T a p H H O M y 6bvi H no*ioH  HanvjNBOM mecTnaAuaTH  JIBT.  ( I l l , 288,  1925)  75  The poet speaks of his former feelings in such a way that the same image conveys both phenomena of Nature and the stirrings of his emotions: "sgushchalas tumanilas dal'." 1  1  The failure of his attempt to continue the  romance is beautifully described with the moon treatcd^not in the usual way as an object of romantic inspiration, but humorously, as a clown. Here again there is a n object from the cosmos that lias the same feelings as the poet.  It i s concretely shown that rapport is not reestablished  between these two people; the image of the gloves and the shawl further indicates the distance between them and their inability to approach each other.  On the one hand, instead of responsiveness to the living and present  Anna, the poet's soul is f i l l e d with memories of her. are  the main obstacle to the renewal of their love.  Subjective reasons While Anna., during  their f i r s t meeting, notices a change in the poet: "Kakoi vy tepcr'ne takoi." The second meeting establishes an even wider gap between them. The death of Anna's husband is the reason for her insult to the poet: BU  —  ItCaJEKuM H HH3KHM TpVCHUliO-l.  OH yMep...  A  B H BOT 3AeCb..."  ( I l l , 29.1 , 1925) The third meeting at the miller's house ends in their parting forever. The Revolution leads Anna to England and Esenin goes to Petersburg. None of their meetings were initiated by the poet's inclinations but were, rather,  casual. Except for the final letter, Anna's character remains sketchy  and incomplete, overshadowed by the image of "devuslika v beloi nakidke." But. the a r t i s t i c raison d'etre for Anna is quite justifiable sincey  76  throughout the poem she serves, indirectly, to revive and to perpetuate the concept of teenage love -- pure, innocent, dominated by the joy of l i f e , and entirely reflected in Nature. The landscapes and the miller's greeting appear both at the beginning of the poem and i n the last chapter.  This strengthens the unity  of the work and also emphasizes the idea that beauty of Nature and of human relations remains unchanged and can outlive hate and hostility among people. In Esenin's earlier works dealing with the October Revolutionj natural phenomena were used in poetic figurations to unveil historic events.  In another example, the events and characters of Pugachov's uprising  were so involved with Nature that, at times, they seemed to be guided by it.  In Anna Snegina Nature i s conveyed more subtly.  Here, some individuals  are close to i t while others are not and, consequently, descriptions of Nature do not accompany a l l human activities and deeds.  However, Nature  can be so close to man as to weep at his sorrow: Bee jiero npoBeji a B oxore. 3a(3i>u ee H M H H J M K . 06 nay  MOK>  Ha 6ojioTe Orui&Kaji  pHflajUjiuHK-Ky^iHK.  ( I l l , 291, 1925) The dominant feature of this poem is i t s profound humanism. The poet does not attempt any p o l i t i c a l or historical justification of characters or events but concentrates on the natural and human aspects of his narrative. His s k i l f u l interjection of lyric episodes is an affirmation of the persistence of ordinary human emotions despite any national upheaval.  The kindhearted  miller, the t h r i l l i n g image of the "devushka v beloi nakidke" and the l i l a c  77  flowers preserving the dreams and innocent love o f sixteen year olds w i l l outlive the human misery caused either by i n d i v i d u a l s or s o c i e t i e s . l e t t e r from London confirms this  Anna's  optimism.  H Mac T O xcoicy H a npuCTaHb H, TO JM Ha pa/jocTb,  TO JIB B CTpax,  rjisKcy cpeflb eyaoB Bee npHCTajibneM Ha KpacHuM c o B e x c K H H dviar. Tenepb T O M AociTnPvrH ctuibi.  /iopora  MOH  HGHa...  Ho B H MHe no-npe^cneMy M M , . KaK poAHHa H KaK B e c H a " . ( I l l , 300,  1925)  Without bitterness f o r her ruined home and the sufferings which have driven her  to a foreign land, Anna treasures her b e a u t i f u l memories of  past, even though she  the  i s f u l l y aware that events p r o h i b i t her return.  Anna's  a b i l i t y to love her country i n spite of her personal g r i e f and losses i s an i n d i c a t i o n of her profound nature. p a t r i o t i c feelings demonstrates human heart.  The portrayal of t h i s  emigrant's  Esenin's breadth of understanding of  the  This work i s h i s most serious endeavour to penetrate beyond  p o l i t i c a l and c l a s s issues and to deal with the depths of human problems. Esenin wrote Anna Snegina i n 1925 while v i s i t i n g the Caucasus at the  suggestion of  According to  friends concerned about h i s severe f i t s of depression. biographical sources he wrote the poem during one harmonious  and extremely creative period of his l i f e . ^ It should be noted that the poem i s somewhat autobiographical. The l y r i c hero can e a s i l y be i d e n t i f i e d with the poet himself and Anna i s h i s neighbour landowner, L i d i a Kashina.  It i s , however, important  to  notice t h a t , throughout the poem, Esenin though dealing with a period of several years remains dominated by the cast of h i s mind at the time of  the  poem's composition; f o r instance, the poem says that i n 1917  lie read Anna  i  his Poems about Tavern Russia (Stikhi pro kabatskuiu Rus') fact, not written u n t i l  which were, i n  1922.  The work, on the whole, leaves a strongimpression that, from beginning to end, Esenin maintains a c e r t a i n distance from the characters events and even Nature.  This implies o b j e c t i v i t y , suggests that the  meaning of the poem must be gathered from the entire composition and that one should analyse each aspect of i t i n r e l a t i o n to the t o t a l work.  79  Footnotes Esenin after His Trip Abroad The Poet of Soviet Reality 1. In the autumn of 1921 Esenin met Isadora Duncan, the world-famous dancer. On the second of May 1922 they became husband and wife. In Moscow Isadora had founded a dancing school but, since the Soviet government could not provide the money she decided to give a series of dance recitals i n Europe and America to collect the necessary funds. On May 10 of the same year the Esenins flew from Moscow to Berlin. During the months spent abroad Esenin became more and more melancholy and the longing for his native land grew stronger i n him. His health suffered from excessive drinking. Towards the end o f their t r i p Esenin's mental condition was so bad that he had to be treated i n one of the hospitals near Paris. Even though he l e f t the hospital too soon, his health improved considerably. Both he and Isadora thought that his return to Russia might be better for him. They decided that he would leave immediately and Isadora would follow him a few weeks later. Esenin returned to Russia i n the summer of 1923, but this ended his marriage to Isadora. 2.  Demian Bednyi, Russian poet, contemporary of Esenin.  3. After the February Revolution many peasant soldiers l e f t the army, afraid that the land would be divided while they were away. Esenin did what many others around him were doing. 4. a) Esenin's letter to G. A. Benislavskaia quoted by V. Belousov, Sergei Esenin (Moskva: Sovietskaia Rossia, 1970), p. 163: £ cKopo 3aBaj«> Bac MaTepnanoM. TaK MHoro H jrerKO nHtueTCH B 5 K H 3 H H o ^ e H b p e £ K O . 3 T O n p o c T O noTOMy, *rro H o f l H H H cocpenoTO^ieH B ce6e. P O B O P H T , H o^eHb noxopouen. BepOHTHO, OTTOPO, M T O H ^iTO-TO yBHfleJT H VCTIOKOHJICH. . . b) Nikolai Verzhbitskii, Vstrechi s Eseninym ( T b i l i s i : Zaria Vostoka, 1961), p. 115: 3a nHTB MecsmeB n p e c b i B a H H H Ha KaBKa3e EceHHH HariHcan TpnrwaTB T P H npoH3BefleHKH: fleBHTt C Q J I H U H X H MajTHX nOSM, ,TTpa,nn,aTb TPH C T H X O T B O p e H H H H OflHy CTaTHO.  HcKJioMHTenbHO ruroflOTBopiMH nepnofl!  80 IX  Final Years: Recollections of the Russia of h i s F.arly Youth  In  the t h i r d group o f poems from the l a s t two years o f h i s l i f e  Esenin continues his main a r t i s t i c trend, which began before t h e Revolution, love of the Russian countryside: H T e n e p b , Koiyra B O T H O B H M C B e x c - M H MoeM K O C H y / i a c b :*n3Hb cyAbOH, Bee p a B H o o c x a j i C H H n o a x c - M H36H.  3OJIOXOM dpeBe'HHaToM  ( I l l , 107, 1.925) liere we f i n d the mature Esenin writing about Nature a f t e r having gained much experience i n a r t as well as i n h i s personal l i f e . In  t h i s chapter, the k e y issue i s how Esenin, a f t e r leading a  c i t y l i f e f o r many years, i d e n t i f i e s with the countryside. "Now  I have to Keep my Sorrow" (Etoi g r u s t i teper' n e rassypat')  (1924) i s t y p i c a l of the way he now conceives of Nature. about his incapacity to convey a happy notion o f l i f e .  The poet  complains  The abundance o f  j o y f u l emotions that, at one time, used to f i l l h i s heart i s now reduced to  the impotence o f not even being able to say a tender word without over-  tones of b i t t e r n e s s .  So he presents Russian landscapes i n a new guise: H 3 H a K O M h i e B3opy n p o c T o p H Y;K He T a K n o A jr/HOH x o p o u i n . E y e p a K H . . . n e H b K H . . . KOCoropH pyccKyK) Jimpb.  06neHajavm  He3AopoBoe, xvuioe, BOAHHHCTan, 3TO  Bee  MHe  cepan  mraKoe,  rviaAb.  poAHoe H  6jw3Koe,  O T H e r o x a n jievKO 3apHAaTb. . noKOCiffiuianeH  Y\J[RH Maine x  HadeiiKa,  OBIJH,  H  BA3.^IH n a s e x p y  TOIUMM X B o e x o M ^iQUiaAeHKa,  3arviHAeBuiMCb B  nejiacKOBtiM npyA.  ( I l l , 1.9, 1924)  81 As we have seen previously, throughout his poetry Esenin usually associated h i s emotions and h i s inner world with the Russian countryside. In this example, he dewlls on "Bueraki"... "Pen'k.i"... "Kosogory"; s e r a i a glad'," "plach o v t s i , " etc.  "vodianistaia,  This d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s "Rodina" i s  quite d i f f e r e n t from the land that, at one time, the poet would not have exchanged even f o r Paradise.  Here, i n an attempt to explain why  the people  drink, c r y , and hope f o r better days, Esenin despicts the poverty of the Russian countryside. to  He c a l l s f o r more harmony i n human existence, namely  avoid wasting oneself i n one's e a r l y years i n happy laughter without  paying attention to e x i s t i n g sorrows: IIOTOMy 3TV  HHKOMy He  paccHnaTb  r p y c T b CMexoM paHHHX Jier.  OTUBejn  MQH uejiaH  jrana,  0T3BeHeji c O J I O B B H H H M  paccBeT.  ( I l l , 20,  1924)  The poet also describes h i s own p o s i t i o n a f t e r the i n s p i r a t i o n o f the Russian countryside ceased to be a source of optimism i n his c r e a t i v e life. ideal.  Now he can write only about sorrow.  Perhaps Esenin outgrew h i s own  At any r a t e , i t ceased to be an adequate source of i n s p i r a t i o n but,  rather, became emotionally exhausting. "The Golden Grove Said What i t had to Say" (Otgovorila roshcha zolotaia) (1924) further unveils the complexity of his a r t i s t i c c r i s i s .  In  describing the f a l l , he chooses those aspects which, at the same time, serve as a p a r a l l e l to his own l i f e .  The autumn leaves are compared to his sad poems.  The cranes are f l y i n g q u i e t l y without t h e i r usual, sorrowful song.  The poet  stands i n the middle of the barren f i e l d s remembering his joyous youthful days:  82  He :*cajib MHe Jiex, pacxpaHeHHhix HanpacHO, He a^jib Ayiiin cii[H3HeByro u B e x b . B cafly ropHT KOCTep P H C H H H K p a c H o M , Ho HHKoro He MC&*cex O H c o r p e x b .  (Ill, As his  i f summarizing h i s l i f e ,  "wasted" y e a r s .  (mountain ash)  falling  warm nor burn to Tak  The b e a u t i f u l  s o r t o f energy  The  But  derevo  of  "riabina's"  creativity  roniaiet tikho l i s t ' i a /  i n t i m a t e t i e s between E s e n i n and h i s  I t i s known t h a t an a r t i s t  from h i s c r e a t i o n s and  further c r e a t i v i t y .  bitterness  the p o e t compares h i s . a r t i s t i c  slova."  work were always p r o f o u n d .  1924)  image o f the f i r e which can n e i t h e r  o f a t r e e i n autumn: "Kak  i i a r o n i a i u grustnye  thinks without  f l a m e - l i k e c o l o r o f the  l e a v e s i s o n l y an  the branches and  the b e h a v i o u r  the poet  26,  this,  i n a way,  u s u a l l y g a i n s some h e l p s to  perpetuate  i n t h i s c a s e , the s o r r o w f u l poems do not have more  e f f e c t on E s e n i n t h a n the f a l l i n g o f t h e  autumn l e a v e s has  T h i s i n d i c a t e s t h a t the o l d s u b j e c t m a t t e r  on the  o f h i s p o e t r y i s near  trees. exhaustion:  H ecjrj-r BpeMH, BexpoM pa3Mexan, C r p e o e x n x B c e x B O A H H HeHysHtm K O M . . . CKa*Hxe x a n . . . H X O poma 30Jioxan OxTOBOptWa M H J I H M  H3HKOM. (Ill,  27,  1924)  But he c o n c l u d e s w i t h a f e e l i n g o f f u l f i l m e n t , s u g g e s t i n g a p a r a l l e l the " r i a b i n a ' s In his  gathered  spite of  native f i e l d s . In  Ids own  c o l l e c t e d poems.  t h e c o n t r a r y views e x p r e s s e d  However, t h a t l o v e i s now  the poem, "The  goiubymi s t a v n i a m i ) country's i d e :  l e a v e s " and  at times, Esenin s t i l l  dominated by sad  a  loved  notes.  L i t t l e House w i t h Blue S h u t t e r s " ( N i z k i i  (1924) he e x p r e s s e d  between  l o n g i n g f o r Iris home and  dom the  s  83  flo cerc-AHH ewe MHe c H U T C H Haiue no^ie, jryra H Jiec, (III,  40,  1924)  Then he adds to h i s o l d images a picture of d u l l and cloudy skies: ripHHaKpHTHe CepeHbKHM CHTUeM 3 T H X ceBepHbrx deAHtrx Hedec. ( I l l , 40,  1924)  Thus he combines the happy memories of the countryside of h i s youthful days with rather gloomy and melancholy moods of h i s l a s t period. complains about loss of enthusiasm f o r l i f e . not  want to sever h i s t i e s with the world.  The poet  Yet, i n s p i t e of i t , he does The sorrowful kindness of h i s  soul w i l l always give him the basis to comprehend l i f e and a r t : BoCXHUjaTbCH JOK fl He yMeio H nponacTb He xoTeji dbi B rvryuiH, Ho, H a s e p H O , H a B e K H HMeio HejKHOCTb rpycTHyio pyccKoM zryaiH. ( I l l , 40,  1924)  He loves the cranes f o r t h e i r s u f f e r i n g : UOJSC6VUI H ceffHX :xypaBJieM C H X KyrviHKaHBeM B TOim-ie flajm, noTQMy H T O B npocTopax naaeH O H H C H T H H X xjiedoB He BHfla/iH. ( I l l , 40,  1924)  Through t h e i r eyes he sees a d i f f e r e n t aspect of Nature: a beauty -"Tol'ko v i d e l i berioz' da t s v e t " ; poverty -- "da r a k i t n i k k r i v o i i 1  b e z l i s t y i " ; then sufferings -- "da razboinye s l u s h a l i s v i s t y ot kotorykh legko umeret'." This note o f compassion f o r h i s native countryside i s frequently found i n the poems of Esenin's l a s t period:  84 KaK 6 H H I-I xoTeji ue juoSuTh, Bee paBHO H e M o r y Hay4HTbCH, nofl  H Thl  3THM AeiiteBeHbKHM  MHJia M H e ,  pOAHMfbl  CHTueM  BHTb.  ( I l l , 41, 1924) In some instances, Esenin t r i e d to revive the o l d images and feelings which  at one time used to enchant him. MejJKOJieche.  CTent  CBeT  see  j i y H H BO onnTb  BOT  PaaJO-rBHHe  BApyr  JcodHMan  Flo  KOTOpOH  BCHKHH  flopora,  ezjxvui M H o r o HejioBew..  pyccKuM  H T O 3 a cai-m!  3 B O H H Mep3jiHe MeHH  Hy  a  H  3apHAajin  HaBeK,  3x B H , caHH.' y  RSLJM,  dydeHUH.  HenpurjKWHaH /Ja  H  KOHIIH.  OTeil —  —  OCHH. KpeCTbHHHH,  KpeCTbHHCKHH CHH.  ( I l l , 204, 1925) Suc'A, happy memories make him r e a l i z e how unfortunate his l i f e as a poet has turned out to be: HanJieBaTb  M H e H a H3 B e c T H O C T b  H Ha T O , H T O H no3T. 3ry H a x j i e H B K y i o MecTHocrb He B H f l a v i H MHoro ^ i e T .  ( I l l , 204, 1925) One  year e a r l i e r ^ i n "Letter from my Mother" (Pis'mo ot materi)  (1924), he expressed i n d i r e c t l y a s i m i l a r idea, namely, that the simple peasant l i f e would have given him more happiness. MHe  cTpax  HTO  IH  ne  HpaBHTCH,  nosT.  M T O T U CflpyKHJlcq C  c ^ i a B o i o HJIOXOIO.  85  Topa3AO jry-aue 6 C MOJIHX JieT XoRivi T H B ncwe 3a coxoro. ( I l l , 65, 1924) One of the peculiarities of Esenin's a r t , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the l a s t two years, i s the tendency to convey ambivalent in the same poem.  notions o f l i f e  simultaneously  In the f i r s t stanza of "The Blue Fog and tht> Snowy i'.Xpnnse"  ( S i n i i tuman snegovoe razdol'e) (1925)^the l a s t two l i n e s are a t y p i c a l example: CepAny npKHTHO c  THXOIO  dojibio  HTO-IIMdyAb BCnOMHHTb H3 paHHHX JieT. ( I l l , 191, 1925) 'Hiis duality of h i s emotions p r e v a i l s throughout the poem.  The poet  focuses  attention on the c r u c i a l moment o f h i s l i f e -- h i s leaving home. CHer y npHJibua nan necoK 3 H 6 V 4 H M . B O T npw TaKoii >xe jtyue 6e3 C J I O B , IIIanKy H3 K Q U I K H Ha .no6 naxjioo'yHHB, TaHHO noKHHyji H O T H H H K P O B . ( I l l , 191, 1925) This fragment from the past, h i s departure into the world, i s impregnated with images o f Nature and memories o f h i s home: innocent hopes and dreams about l i f e .  A f t e r many years, he again  returns:  CHOBa BepHyjiCH a  B Kpaii P O A H M H H . K T O MeHH ncwmv.r? K T O nooadbui? TpyCTHO CTOK) yl, KaK CTpaHHMK rOIIHMHH, — CTapHI-i X03HHH CB06H M30H. .  Mo^na a KOMKaro HOByio wanKy, He no Ayme MHe coo'ojniii Mex. ( I l l , 191, 1925) Now a d i f f e r e n t person, "Strannik gonirnyi , lie is aware of the 1  1  impossibility of returning to h i s former way o f l i f e .  The countryside  86 d o e s  not civo him the same joy and optimism as before and he cannot become  accustomed to c i t y l i f e .  The idea of "utrachennaia  runost'," Esenin's  frequent theme, also dominates t h i s poem. Mis "Tikhaia b o l ' " reminds him of h i s grandparents and the cemetery  which seems to him the only place of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n . approaching death came true three months  His premonition of  later:  nady na K p b u i b u e c codaKoM CflOBHO H BUKy B 1'IOCJieAHMH pa3. 3TV  (Til, Obviously, the poet was  192,  1925)  experiencing a deep emotional c r i s i s which,  nevertheless, d i d not diminish his a r t i s t i c a b i l i t i e s ; indeed, i t imparted a dramatic element to h i s poetry. The poem  ./'Blue May"  ( S i n i i mai)  (1925) exemplifies one of  Esenin's tendencies, i n the l a s t year of h i s l i f e , to recreate the images t y p i c a l of h i s early youth: MaM. 3apeBatf TenviHHb. He np03BHKI-ieT KOJIbUO y KaJMTKH. JInnKHM 3anaxoM Beer nojibiHb. CHHHM  CnHT nepeiwyxa B dejioM Hani-yuoe.  Sounds, smells and colors appear again i n the same form as i n h i s early works.  B flepeBHHHHe KpBUIhH OKHa BMecre c paMaMH B TOHKHe uiTopn BfDKeT B3dajMOUHaH jr/m Ha nojry KpyKeBHHe yoophi. A modest way of l i f e i s conveyed with acute a r t i s t i c awareness, Hauxa ropHrcua X O T L H Majia, Ho HUGxa. 51 c coooii ira /j,ocyre... B O T O T Benep B C H >KM3HL MHe MTuia.  KaK ripi-wriiaH naM>TTb o /ipyre.  87  Cafl  ncuiHiieT, Kan nenHbiH noicap,  H jjyHa, Hanpfirayi Bee CIVM,  Tai-.:, HTOC5H KaaaHfi Apccicaji ii^MHiiipro cjioBa " M H J I U H " .  Xonex OT  ( I l l , 154,  1925)  The content of these stanzas d i f f e r s l i t t l e from h i s other poems w r i t t e n around the year 1916.  However, two other stanzas unveil h i s d i f f i c u l t He does not  position us an a r t i s t . l i f e at  one  time offered  have wishes that would exceed what  him:  TOHbKO a B 3TV UBeTb, B OTV IViaflb,  Ilofl TajibHHKy Bece^ioro Man, HHMero He Mory naacejiaTb, Bee, KaK ecTb, de3 KOHua npHHHMan. ( I l l , 155,  1925)  Then he turns to r e a l i t y and^with a t r a g i c overtone^ concludes: ripHHHMaiO,  — npHflH H  HBHCb,  Bee H B H C b , B neu e c T b dojib H OTpafla... Mnp Tede, onuyMeBuiaH : K H 3 H B . Mwp Tede, rojiydan npoxjiafla. ( I l l , 155,  1925)  The p e c u l i a r i t y of Esenin's p o s i t i o n derives from the fact that c i t y l i f e and the Revolution l e f t an i n d e l i b l e mark on him.  The new  ideal,  which has been discussed e a r l i e r i n t h i s paper, dominated his a r t only sporadically. 1917 he was  On the other hand, due to change:, which occurred a f t e r  alienated from the l i f e of  poet had acquired a new a t t i t u d e to which, by the way, his  youth.  life.  Thus, going back to the old themes  he never abandoned, meant a retreat into reminiscences  The i n t e r n a l d i v i s i o n of Esenin was manifested by two opposite  worlds -- the o l d and the new.  i s to say  the Russian countryside; also, the  Giving h i s poetic talent to his past, that  to memories of his youth, created an emotional vacuum for the  of  other poetic s e l f whose i d e a l of a new Russia was r e l a t e d t o the concrete r e a l i t y o f h i s time.  In analyzing h i s a r t , i t seems e s s e n t i a l to perceive  these d i f f e r e n t ideals as i f they had been created by two p e r s o n a l i t i e s . With pi-emonitions o f approaching death and i n a f a r e w e l l mood Esenin wrote several l e t t e r - l i k e poems to members o f h i s f a m i l y .  And w i t h  s i m i l a r warmth and intimacy i n "We are S l i p p i n g Away" (My t e p e r ' ukhcdim po nemnogu) (1924), he addressed the Russian landscape:  Mnjffiie. 6epe30BHe Hamji! Thi, 3euml H B H , paBHHH necKn! riepeA 3 T H M COHMOM yXOAHUJKX H He B CHJiax C K P H T B Moen T O C K H . ( I l l , 11, 1924)  In f a c t , he was saying f a r e w e l l t o d i f f e r e n t objects o f Nature. Mnp O G H H 3 M , HTO, paCKHHyB BeTBH, 3arjiHflejracb B po30Byio B O A B ! ( I l l , 11, 1924)  His leave-taking was without b i t t e r n e s s  o r regret; h i s memory went over  d i f f e r e n t items which, at one t i m e , had made h i s l i f e so happy: CnacTJMB  TeM,  HTO  uejioBaji  H  :KeHmHH,  MOJI LiBerH, BajiH^iCH Ha TpaBe H 3Bepbe, naK dpaTbeB Haumx ueimimx.,  HHKorAa He 6mi no rojioBe.  ( I l l , 12, 1924)  He i s f u l l y aware t h a t , once he departs from t h i s l i f e , everything w i l l be l e f t behind him. 3Haio s , HTO B Ton CTpaHe He dyAeT * 3 T H X HKB, 3./iaTHlIIMXCH BO MTJie. O T T O P O H Aoporn MHe J H O A H , H T O : K H B V T co MHOIO na 3evuie. ( H I , 12, 1924)  89  Poets, in general, occasionally write palinodes, Lisenin, i t is more than that.  i i . the case of  Analysing the poetry of his last two years  in three separate groups i s an attempt to find a suitable approach to explain the vacillation between two a r t i s t i c credos.  Such an analysis  may also enhance the apprec/.ation of his poetry and the peculiarity of his individuality. earlier.  The f i r s t signs of an internal polarization appeared much  His development before the year 191.7 has a unity and steadiness .  but the Revolution opened a new chapter in his art and l i f e .  During the  first two years, many of his poems were dedicated to the revolutionary cause. In spite of their vagueness of revolutionary content, here and there one can note his old ideal of the "peasant paradise" sporadically appearing in new disguise. In the year 1920, he saw the threat of industrialization to the Russian countryside and responded c r i t i c a l l y to i t .  Temporarily, he abandoned  revolutionary themes. The bohemian l i f e which he was leading has i t s reflection in the cycle Moscow the Tavern City in which he completely ignored the crucial problems of the Revolution. The trip abroad in the years .1922/23 brought him closer to Soviet reality and he even tried to become a genuine revolutionary poet of his new country.  This period, which lasted  t i l l the end of his l i f e , i s the most complex one.  In earlier times i t  was possible to follow his development and changes chronologically. During the last two years of his l i f e , the poet vacillates between the two artistic credos although he made many attempts in his work towards internal reconciliation.  A l l of this has been discussed at length. It  is probably after his trip that lie became convinced that, as a poet profoundly  90  attached to Russia in his l i f e style as well as in his art, there was nothing abroad for him.  Thus, divided in himself between the o l d and the new,  he  faced his country. The last year of Esenin's l i f e was very productive; nevertheless, comparatively l i t t l e was produced with the Revolution as an inspiring f o r c e . Besides the poems of outstanding value, there are also works in which he became repetitious, especially in his sorrowful longing for the memories of his youth.  It seems that, at the end of his l i f e , there was nothing left  from t h e o l d Russia and there was only an a r t i s t i c vacuum in the poet.  The  ideal of Soviet Russia was not strong enough in him to absorb h i s personality fully in a new search f o r l i f e and art. Perhaps the c r i s i s which Leo Tolstoy wont through after finishing l\ar and Peace might throw some light on Esenin's case although the endings o f the lives of the two men are entirely different.  Tolstoy overcame his  crisis aiuL-for that reason, his problem is better known.  The  hollowness  which this great man experienced lasted for many years and came after a long period of creative work which seems to have exhausted much of his a r t i s t i c vitality.  This is extensively described in his confession: Ec/m 6u npnuua BOJiuefiHHua H npeflJict-Kmia MHe wcnojiHHTB vKejianHH, H 6 H He 3Haji, H T O CKa3aTb. E C J I M e c x b y MBHH He .JCOJ:: n / i H , HO npHBHHKK J K e j I H H H H npeucHKX, B FlbHHLie MMHyTH, TO H B Tpe3Bhie MHHyTH 3HaK>, HTO 3TO — OOMaH, MTO K e H e r O •AtejELTb. Raxe y3HaTb HCTHHy H He Mor ijosjiaxb, noxoMy H T O H florazrHBa/iCH, B neM OHa c o c T O H J i a . HcTKHa 6bum T O , 4 T O >KH3Hb ecTb fieccMbicJMia. 51 KaK OyATO irfH.'i-acmi, meji-uieji H ripnuieji K riponacxn H HCHo'yBi'Wav'i, H T O Bnepe/tn HWHero H B T , npoivie u o r HO e JIH. H ocTai-iOBHTbCH HeJib3H, H i-iaaaA n e j i b 3 H , H 3aicpb[Tb r v i a a a i r e j i b a n , H T O O ' H He Bi-warb, 4TO HHMero n e T B n e p e f l H , Kpowe oowaHa : , K M 3 K H H C4acrbH Vi HacTonim-ix c x p a a a i i M M H H a c T o r n i f p i i cwepTH —  MOH  ncwmoro ,yn s 14TCwceHwn. (At; that stage Tolstoi was close to death.) Ku3Hb MHe onocThuejia — icaicaH-To uewpfiOixojiimRsi  C K J i a BJieKJia M e H H K Tcwy, H T O C U J icaK-Hndynb H3daBHTbCH O T H e e . He./Db3H CKa3aTb, HTO6 H xoTe.'i .yCJiiTb cedn. Ctuia, K O T o p a n a/ieioia M e H H n p o ^ b orp J K H 3 H H , 6i..uia cmibHee, nojmee, odiuee x o T e H b H . 3TO 6UJI& cmia, no/todnaH npe>KHeMy CTpeMjieiniio' K , ; C H 3 H H , TOJIbKO B O d p a T H O M OTHCUISHUH. 51 B C 6 M H CHJiaMH CTpeMHJICH npOHb OT 3CH3HH. M H C J I L o c a M o y d H i i c T D e npnuuia M H e Tan ace e c T e c T B e H H O , KaK n p e J i w e n p H X O f l H J i H M H C J I H o d yjiyniiiemm M<:H3HH. MHCSB 3Ta dbuia TaK co6jia3HHTejibHa, >ITO H flOJHceH dmi y n o T p e d j i H T b npoTHB cedn X H T P O C T H , mo6u ne i ipuBecTH ee CTTMIIIKOM. nocneuiHO B HCnOJIHeHHe. 51 He XOTeJI T O p O U H T b C H TCJDbKO H O T O M y , HTO xomnbcb y n o T p e d H T b s e e yavumii, HTO6U p . ' i c n y x a t b c n ! EOJM HO paortyTtuoct., TO B o e r A a yoneio, r o a o p m i H oade, H B O I ' TorAa H, cH9.C T J I H B H H H e j i O B e K , B H H e c M3 C B o e M KOM-iaTH unrypoK, ryj;e H KaacflHH B e n e p d H B a j i OAHH, paaAesaHCb, H T O . ' ! : He H O B e c n T b C H Ha nepeKJiaAHHe  Meacfly  lUKanaMH,  H  n e p e c T a J i  xoflHTb  c  pyicbeM  H a  HTO6B H e co6jia3HHTbCH CJLUUKOM. jien-cHM c n o c o d O M H3daBJieHHH cedn O T > K H 3 H H . 51 caM H e 3Haji, n e r o H x o n y : H d O H J I C H JKK3HH, C T p e M H J I G H U p O ' I b O T Hee H, MeJICfly T e M , n e r o - T O o x o T y ,  ewe  HaAeHJiGH  OT  Hee.  To that can be added an incident described i n Henry Troyat's Biography: "What's wrong, Lyovochka?" "Nothing," he answered. "I don't have any matches. I got l o s t i n the house." Sonya was so s t a r t l e d that she had a coughing f i t and stood there, gasping and wheezing. Afterward, her husband explained that when he came out o f h i s study to go to h i s bedroom, he suddenly could not remember where he was. What were those walls? Where d i d those steps lead? Panic gripped him to the roots of h i s hair.2 During the interim period, among other a c t i v i t i e s which d i d not have much to do with l i t e r a t u r e , T o l s t o i created Anna Knrenina which belongs to the same l i t e r a r y trend as War and Peace.  However, there i s a d i f f e r e n t  a r t i s t i c mood b u i l t around the figure of Levin. Unlike T o l s t o i , Esenin spoke and  w r o t e  It was h i s poetry t h a t received h i s confidences.  l i t t l e about h i s These have  crisis.  a l r e a d y  received  general attention i n t h i s paper but, i n order to present a more concrete v i e w ,  we should focus again on three of  w h i c h  siIOW d i f f e r e n t  death and requiem.  h i s  v e r s e s ,  taken from  v a r i e d  poems  stages of h i s s u i c i d a l mood; hollowness, premonition o f  92  ripeflpaccBeTHoe. Ci-inee. Pai-mee H jieTaKiuHX 3 B e 3 A C«aroAaTb.  3 a r a A a T b 6u Kanoe >KejLairne, Ra He 3 Haw, nero ncwcejiaTb.  (Ill,  177,  1925)  51 3HaiO, 3HaiO. CKopo, CKOpO H H no MoeM, H M i b e f i BHHe HVI3KHM TpaypHHM 3a<5opOM JleacaTb n p n A e T C H T a n ace MHe.  ITOA  ( I l l , 173,  1925)  rioTOMy x o p a u a a necHH y cojioByuiKH, FlecHH naHKXKAHaH n o MoeM.ro^ioByuiKe llBejia —  3a<3yt3e*HHaH, Oi>uia —  A Tenepb B A p y r C B e c i v i a c b ,  HosceBaH,  CHOB'HO  Kewmasi.  (Ill, His  141,  creative forces l e d him to the abyss and then he expressed h i s inward  tragedy i n an a r t form.  In addition  Vladimir Shvaitser,  i n the a r t i c l e  "Pesnia" gives an i n t e r e s t i n g d e s c r i p t i o n of the poet's i n t e r n a l d i v i s i o n . /la, 6BUIO B T O BpeMH A B a E c e H H H a . O A H H — ne'f3jrbHbiM, HaA^iOMJieHHHM, O A H H O K H H , ApyroM — 06paupHHHH K J D C A H M , BpeMeHH, ACH3HH.4  During Tolstoy's c r i t i c a l time, he was completely preoccupied by his  c r i s i s and was constantly searching f o r a new purpose i n l i f e and a r t .  He became involved with diverse subjects such as philosophy, p e d a g o g y and c l a s s i c a l Greek. life.  Esenin, however, worked at h i s a r t to the v e r y end of h i s  But he made several attempts to change h i s poetic world -- the poems  o f the l a s t two years about Soviet Russia a n d "Persian melodies."  But lie  a l w a y s r e t u r n e d to h i s r i l d themes, e s p e c i a l l y to that of parting v.: .eh, i n the  1925)  l a s t period, developed  In some he d w e l t on one  i n t o the theme of f a r e w e l l  of t h e m o s t t r a g i c  to y o u t h a n d l i f e .  ideas o f l i f e ,  namely,  suicide.  93  His pride seems to have been an obstacle in confiding his i n t e r n a l struggle d i r e c t l y to anyone.  He resented being p i t i e d .  V.I. E r l i k h ,  in  J  his book Provo na pesn', described one of Esenin's rare moments of confessing his  despair. nnTbiM nac yrpa.  jiexHM na neon© it C M O T P H M B Hedo. He MocnoBcicari Ti-mraa. OH noBopaHHsaeTCH K O M H S H xoneT roBopHTb, H O y Hero ApcvicaT rydbi H Bbrpaxceime KaKoro-TO HeodbwaMHO HHCToro, noHTH fleTCKoro ropn noHBJiHeTCH Ha jump. — CjryuiaM... 51 — KomeKffl nejioseK... H oneub 6ojieu... npe>Kfle Bcero — Majio/tyuiHeM... 51 roBOpio OTO Tede, MajibHHKy... npe:>K&e H He c i c a 3 a j i 6u O T O P O H He.roBeKy BflBoe c-Tapue MeHH. 51 OHem> H e c H a c T J i H B . Y ueua. HeT HHnero B MCH3HH. Bee praMenwio MHe. IIoHHMaeiirb'? Bee! Ho flejio He B O T O M . .. C^jyiuaM... HnKor-fla He >KajieH MeHfl! HHKorfla He >icajieH MeHH, Kano! E C J M n KorflaHHdyztb 3aMeny... 51 ydbio TeOH.' lloHMMaenib? O H depeT nannpocKy H, He T V I H A H Ha MeHH, 3aicypHBaeT. MH  GOBCGM  Esenin did not  overcome his c r i s i s , while T o l s t o i ^ a f t e r many years,  b u i l t a new philosophy and new approach to a r t and his l i f e became f u l l  and  creative. In his second period, he rejected his e a r l i e r l i t e r a r y work i:o which^at one time^he had devoted himself with so much i n t e g r i t y and passion. Lev Shestov puts the p e c u l i a r i t y of the great writer's p o s i t i o n i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l perspective: . . . i f Tolstoy t h i r t y years ago had been .hown his own most recent works, he would have repudiated them, as he now repudiates War and Peace, though then as today he has wanted one thing only - - t o regulate his l i f e by the "good." A repudiation against another repudiation. Which s h a l l we accept? And, most important of a l l , would he have disavowed his What i s A r t ? 7  Unfortunately, Esenin committed suicide at an e a r l y age and cannot see the whole process of r e b i r t h of a "new  man"  we  as in the case of  94  Tolstoy.  It seems that s i m i l a r phenomena existed i n both men,namely, the  potential f o r developing two d i f f e r e n t p e r s o n a l i t i e s , two d i f f e r e n t  artists.  The t r a n s i t i o n from one a r t i s t i c credo to another i s followed by a deep c r i s i s which often has t r a g i c consequences,  as i n the case of Esenin.  The manner i n which N i k o l a i Gogol ended h i s l i f e also i l l u s t r a t e s , perhaps, though i n a more obscure way,  the existence of a s i m i l a r problem to that of  Tolstoy- and Esenin. The d u a l i t y i n the works of Tolstoy and Esenin should not be attributed so much to external causes <ls  to the very nature of these  individuals, to their a b i l i t y to respond to l i f e i n two d i f f e r e n t ways. Itwould be d i f f i c u l t to draw d e t a i l e d p a r a l l e l s between the two a r t i s t s since Tolstoy was a prose w r i t e r and, i n h i s l a t t e r period, a great deal of h i s work was of a p h i l o s o p h i c a l nature.  Esenin, however,  never abandoned h i s o l d a r t i s t i c credo formed before the Revolution. Naturally, i n the course of time, t h i s credo underwent some changes, but the new approach to a r t and l i f e i n s p i r e d by Soviet Russia also existed and appeared i n h i s poetry subsequently to the o l d one. The comparison of Esenin to Tolstoy does not have such an ambitious goal as to t r y to resolve what was c o n t r o v e r s i a l i n Esenin's a r t or the question of his p e r s o n a l i t y which played a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n the complexity of his poetry and appears to be as v a l i d an explanation as "external influences" such as revolutionary changes of Russia which, so far, have been used almost e x c l u s i v e l y i n analyzing him as man and a r t i s t .  A parallel  study of the circumstances of his l i f e and the composition of his personality, could give more objective r e s u l t s .  I f nothing e l s e , this b r i e f p a r a l l e l between the two  men  important a r o l e h i s a r t i s t i c work plays i n the l i f e of  96 Footnotes Final Years: Recollections of the Russia of his Early Youth  1. L.N. Tolstoi, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (Moskva: Gosizdat. khudozhestvennaia literatura, 1957), torn 23, p. 10. Brackets mine, L.P. 2.  Henri l'roiat, Tolstoi (New York: Doubleday, 1967), p. 352.  3. of Esenin.  Vladimir Zakharovich Shveitser - - Soviet writer, contemporary  4.  L. Prokushev, Vospominaniia o Sergeie Esenine (Moskva, 1965),  5.  V o l ' f Iosifovich Erlikh (1902-1944) - - poet.  6.  L. Prokushev, Vospominaniia o Sergeie Esenine (Moskva, 1965),  p. 409.  p. 459.  7. L. Shestov, Dostoevskii, Tolstoi and Nietzsche (Ohio University Press, 1969), p. 61.  X  97  Esenin's Craftsmanship  and Lexicology  One of the key problems i n studying Esenin the poet i s undoubtedly that of his a r t i s t i c expression.  Such major topics as, f o r instance, h i s  pantheism or his being a peasant poet cannot be comprehended without understanding  of tho source and s i g n i f i c a n c e of h i s a r t i s t r y .  an  We have  already seen that the Russian countryside l e f t an i n d e l i b l e mark on h i s work. Here we s h a l l reexamine these e f f e c t s but through the l i g h t of h i s imagination. To the end o f h i s l i f e , Esenin's p o e t i c expression remains deeply rooted i n f o l k l o r e .  While developing h i s p o e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y , he was g r e a t l y  influenced by Russian c u l t u r e as a whole and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , by  Pushkin,  Andrei B e l y i , Alexander Blok, and Kliuev as w e l l as the other peasant poets, old legends and f o l k a r t .  His career can be d i v i d e d into d i f f e r e n t periods  according to outside influences and h i s own  evolution.  was only one poetic system that he developed  Nevertheless, there  continuously.  In the preface  to the c o l l e c t e d poems of the year 1924,  the poet revealed the fundamental  issues of h i s a r t namely  formation.  ;  i t s o r i g i n and  B CTHXaX MOHX HHTaTejIh ROJIKBR rViaBHblM 06pa30M odpamaxb BHHMaHHe Ha jmpuHec Koe H V B C TBOBaraie H Ty 05pa3H0CTb, KOTOpafl yKR3aJia nVTH MHOrHM H MHOrHM' UOJIORWA noaTaM H dejuieTpucTaw. He H B w r y M a j i S T O T o6pa3, OH 6UJI a ecTb ocHOBa pyccKoro Ayxa H rvia3a, HO H nepsHH pa3Bmi ero H nojiaxvui O C H O B H H M KaMHeM B C B O H X cxnxax.  O H ;KHBeT BO MHe opraHKHeCKH Tan vs.e, nan MOH CTpacTH H HyBCTBa. 9TO MOH OCOdeHHOCTb, H 3T0My y M e H H MOKHO yMHTbCH -fee, nan H Mory y M H T b C H H e M y - H H d y f l b ApyroMy T M K  y flpyrnx.  (IV, 226,  1924)  From the f o l k l o r e he took not only images  but s i m i l e s , epithets and other  tropes and incorporated them i n the basic structure of  his poetry, always  98  d i s p l a y i n g a great deal o f c r e a t i v i t y .  The e a r l y poems were created i n  simple form w i t h complete domination o f simple metaphors and s i m i l e s . Ha d y r p e depesa-CBeHKa B jrymmx nepbnx cepedpa. (I, 73,  1911)  TeHbKaeT CHHuua ^ecHbix KyapeM, TeMHbM ejsm C H H T G H  Mejs  T O M O H KOcapeK.  (I, 130,  1914)  H nycKaK c o Q B O H S M H rutaviyT rvjyxapti,  EcTb TOCKa Becejiaa B ajiocTHX aapn.  (I, 68, Tyna Kpy.iceBo B poiye 3aKypit7icH  naxynm.  CBH3ajia,  TyMaH.  • *  (I, 167,  1915)  3aKOJWOBaH I.':-?BHAHMKOH, /ipeMJBT  Jiec  nofl  C K a 3 K y  C H a .  (I, 84, KOJIOKDJI  1914)  flpeMBaumn  PasdyflHJi  nojia,  yjmdjry/iacb co^Hiry COHHaH 3 6 M J W .  (I, H 6 ,  1914)  y^bidHyjiHCb eoHHbie depe3KH,  PacTpenajM mejiKOBHe K O C H . IIIejiecTflT 3ejieHHe cepe,.CKn, H ropHT cepedpHHhie p o c H .  (I, 89, KjieHeHoneK Ma-/;eHbKnM MaTKe 3 e ^ i e H o e B H M H coceT. (I, 64,  1910)  1914)  1910)  99 His i n t e l l e c t u a l appreciation of the world i s suffused with d e e p - f e l t emotion so that i n d e r i v i n g formal p o e t i c expression of the world he sees the images, although sharply focussed and concrete, are transformed by the beauty o f h i s p o e t i c expression.  Thus a s s i s t e d by h i s superb imagination,  he could harmonize the most d i s t a n t and even opposite elements o f the universe.  I n h i s p o e t i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n the earth i s the center o f the  universe and unites a l l that has l i f e and beauty. of  Esenin's keen perception  l i f e and Nature ensures that h i s a r t never loses touch with r e a l i t y . A c h a r a c t e r i s t i c example i s the poem "The Cow" (Korova): /JpHXJiaH,  BbTiaJIH  3V6bI,  rojcpB Ha porax. Bun ee BbiroHmnK rpySbift Ha neperoHHbix nonnx. CBHTOK  (I, 172, 1915) In the f i r s t stanza, w e l l chosen d e t a i l s present a r e a l i s t i c basis f o r further development of the poem. Cepnue HenacKOBO K myMy, Mbnw CKpe6yT B yrojTKe. .DyMaeT rpycTHyfO nyMy 0 SenoHoroM TenKe. (I, 172, 1915) For t h e poet, Nature i s endowed with human f a c u l t i e s o f f e e l i n g , s m i l i n g , whispering, dozing, dancing and even thijiking.  I n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case, the  bereaved mother cow sadly watches the s k i n o f her white-legged c a l f flapping i n the wind.  One o f the s u b t l e t i e s o f the poem i s that the actual act o f  k i l l i n g i s not described, only i t s r e s u l t s and e f f e c t s . He P&JTH MaTepn CbiHa, nepBan panpcTB He BnpoK. H Ha Kojry non; O C H H O H Iikypy Tpenan BeTepoK. (I, 172, 1915)  100  And the cow i? left to wait for the same destiny that befell her calf. The entire poem i s written without compound metaphoric expressions, almost i n elemental language and yet, l y r i c a l l y , this is one of Esenin's most powerful verses. his poetic ideas  His capacity to select details that would best suit  contributes a great deal to his a r t i s t i c s k i l l .  There  are other poems written at that time with the same simplicity, such as: " V khate," "Pastukh," "Pesn' o sobake," " L i s i t s a , " etc.  Later, when Esenin  developed M s more complex a r t i s t i c devices f u l l y , simplicity s t i l l remained a distinct mark of his poetry. One of the basic principles of Esenin's art i s that of placing the harmony and beauty of Nature, as well as the innate feelings of animals, in the foreground.  Elsewhere, we find the oppressors: "Vygonshchik grubyi,"  "Khoziain khmuryi," who are, for the greatest part, indirectly involved through the sufferings usually of baby animals such as "shcheniata," "telok zherebionok" and so on.  This gives his poems greater emotional impact.  frequent use of diminutives as, for example "beriozka," "snezhok," "solnyshko" gives his descriptions of Nature an emotional aspect. A good deal of his creativity was concentrated on the formation aii ' development of the metaphor as his main form of poetic expression. Transplantation of expressions from one f i e l d of experience in order to say something in another field had been used extensively in Russian folklore.  Even riddles are related to this metaphoric method, in so far  as they are based on the likeness which often exists between things that appear unlike. included  Besides adopting the same a r t i s t i c method, Esenin also  elements of folk imagery and wisdom in developing his own  His  101  poetry.  As an i l l u s t r a t i o n we can take the moon and sun, objects frequently  referred to i n f o l k l i t e r a t u r e to convey d i f f e r e n t shades of meaning r e f l e c t e d i n the structure of the work.  In Russian r i d d l e s the moon can  have such f i g u r a t i v e meanings as: "Vsadnik," "pastusheskii rozhok," " l a d ' i a , " "iagnionok," "versha," "kon'," "pastukh."  The poet goes further  from these postulates: i f the moon i s a "vsadnik" then i t can "roniat' povodia" (referring to moonbeams). unylyi."  In another context i t becomes "vsadnik  As a "pastusheskii rozhok," the moon can create music: "Pliashet  sumrak v galochei trevoge, sognuv lunu v pastusheskii rozhok." perceived as a "vedro" can be f i l l e d with azure ("lazur"').  .The sun During the  Revolution the sun becomes a red c a l f and the poet creates the metaphor: "Nebo l i z h e t krasnogo t e l k a . "  Thus Esenin derives metaphors from postulates  usually taken from or based on f o l k a r t .  During his creative l i f e he went  f a r beyond the l i m i t s o f r u s t i c culture.  Nevertheless, throughout h i s career  he remained a peasant poet i n s p i t e of h i s broad conception of l i f e and Nature, the vastness of h i s images and the universal appeal of h i s J l y r i c i s m . When Esenin took part i n the imagist movement i t was p r i m a r i l y an attempt to gain a r t i s t i c independence  from the r u s t i c c u l t u r e , rather than  a poetic experiment and search f o r a new form.  Occasionally, between 1919-  1922, he introduced i n h i s verses metaphors that, neither i n t h e i r components nor i n t h e i r b a s i s , derived from Russian t r a d i t i o n .  A good example i s  the poem "Mare Ships" (Kobily korabli) (1919) which i s based on the poet's personal experience: once, i n the winter o f 1919, he saw a dead horse on a Moscow street and crows feeding from i t s carcass. the countless horrors o f the C i v i l War  This small fragment  inspired t lie poet to write t h i s  from  102  m. rbid and gloomy poem. B O J I K Ha 3Be3fly 3aBbm, 3Ha inT, Hedo Tyn&un i-rarjioflaHo. PBaHbie JICHBOTH KOdHJI, HepHHe napyca B o p o H O B .  ECJIH i  He npocyHeT worrell Jia3ypb H3 nyproBoro Kauu>i-CMpaa;a; OdjBTaeT nofl pucaHbe dypb HepenoB 3 ^ T O X B O H H H H * cafl. CJItJUIHTe Jib? CjIHUttlTe 3B0HKUH 3TO rpadjm sapn no nyuiaM.  C TVK?  BecjjaiviH OTpyo'jieHHHX pyn  B H rpedexec-b B CTpmry rpnflyupro. (II, His  84, 1919)  poetic figurations are r o o t l e s s : "Nebo tuchami izglodano," "Chornye  parusa voronov," "V/Mlami otrublennyk/»ruk.  u  The words used i n forming  these metaphors d i d not have any connotations or symbolism beyond t h e i r usual meaning. and  This method of forming images l e d to mediocre r e s u l t s  the f a i l u r e of h i s imagist work. Esenin developed h i s similes i n much  did  the same fashion as he  metaphors, namely by d e r i v i n g them from f o l k images and symbols.  One of the major aspects o f h i s c r e a t i v i t y i s manifested i n the use of already e x i s t i n g u n i t s o f a r t i s t i c f i g u r a t i o n i n b u i l d i n g new and often vast designs o f l i f e and Nature.  Ty^H  — Kan o3epa,  MecHu — phLiiHH rycb. rijwaieT  nepefl BSopoM  jjyiic. TBeHHan Pycb.  (I, 273, 1917) In spite of the recklessness of h i s imagination, the tendency always to have concrete d e t a i l s i n h i s broad p i c t u r e s remained the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g mark  103  of his poetry. gas'" --  4  In the stanza quoted above we f i n d an example i n " r y z h i i  b i r d frequently seen on the lakes around Riazan'.  Most of his similes were created on the basis of interpenetration between manifestations o f Nature  &.r\d-  nun.  He often refers to trees  such as " i v a , " " r i a b i n a , " "cheriomukha," " k l i o n , " "berioza," using t h e i r long established connotations to convey h i s own poetic ideas.  In t h i s manner  he developed these images further; i n each context, adding new  shades of  meaning or emotion.  To i l l u s t r a t e , we can take the b i r c h tree r i s i n g from  Russian landscapes, slender i n i t s s i l v e r y whiteness, with the f o l k l o r i c connotation of a maiden.  Through Esenin's p o e t i s a t i o n t h i s image developed  into a sorrowful and mysterious  f a i r y v i r g i n who  she has long s i l k y h a i r through which moonlight  i s sadly gazing at a pond; runs l i k e a comb.  In a d i f f e r e n t context the basic symbolism of the b i r c h tree can acquire another meaning: He  6epe3KH-6ejiojiHMyiiiKH  H3-no,q ro/jOBH noflpydjBHH, najBIVU-i COKO^IM-Apy.iCHHKH  Hofl Ta Tape KHM H HaCeHKOMH. (I, 308,  1912)  In order to strengthen f o l k - l o r i c " connotation of the b i r c h tree the poet uses double nouns ("beriozki-belolichushki." , Russian popular poetry.  "sokol'ia-druzhniki") t y p i c a l of  In t h i s case the image of innocence b u i l t around  the b i r c h tree i s used to emphasize the savage k i l l i n g of Russian s o l d i e r s by the Tatar intruders. Esenin made comparisons between d i f f e r e n t manifestations of Nature whether motionless, e.g.: "mesiats kak syrnyi. kusok"; "nebo slovno vymia" or, more frequently, i n an active state which gave his similes  104  dynamism: " r o z i kak s v e t l i a k i g o r i a t " ; "osen' ryzhaia kobyia cheshet grivu"; "veter kak sazha"; "taet kak raduga, zor'ka The  vecherniaia."  poet's sensations played a d i s t i n c t r o l e i n furnishing the  early poems with freshness and animation.  His descriptions of c o l o r s ,  sounds, scents are neither elemental nor abstract but always embodied i n a natural form, as part o f a s i n g l e or^ rather^ combined expression o f Nature: "beriozovoe moloko," "sedye oblaka," "zoloto s o l n t s a , " "<ilyi svet  zari";  "zvon sosniaka," "shopot volny," "gomon kosarei"; "pakhnet s m o l i s t o i sosnoi," "pakhnet rykhlymi drachionami," "zapakh mioda ot nevinnykh ruk." Nature phenomena, so frequently described as being iii motion, make h i s descriptions dynamic and, at the same time^impart greater unity to the poem's d i f f e r e n t aspects.  In such examples as "Zvon nadlomannoi d s o k i " or  " i zvenit pridorozhnymi travami ot o z i o r vodianoi veterok," we see appearance and sound are interwoven. single expression, e.g.:  how  Sound and c o l o r can blend i n a  "v roshchakh po beriozkam b e l y i perezvon."  Esenin's language has a n a t u r a l flow, the components of i t s metaphors are bound together and can communicate the f u l l meaning only i n t h i s form. For example i n "Listopad z l a t i t  kholmy" c o l o r plays an organic part i n  the picture of autumn with golden leave-; covering the h i l l s ;  i t adds  p r e c i s i o n and emphasizes the features of the season. In order to emphasize h i s sensation and emotion the poet frequently employs'epithets but always i n accordance with the poetic idea. poetry  In h i s  c o l o r i s used more than any other manifestation of Nature, often  i n the form o f epithets, p r i m a r i l y to convey emotional q u a l i t i e s . to the i n t e n s i t y of his l y r i c i s m .  "Tuman golubo.i.," " s i n i a i a  This contributed  viuga,"  105  "golubaia doroga," "pokrasnela  r i a b i n a posinela voda," "osen'  zlatit  olmy," "v s i n i u i u vys'," "golubuiu o s t a v i l Rus'," " t i a n e t s i a dym  u  malinovykh s i o l , " "devushka v b e l o i nakidke," " s h e l e s t i a t zelionye seriozhki." During the l a s t year of his l i f e Esenin wrote a c y c l e of poems Persian Melodies (Porsidskie mot ivy) in an exotic m i l i e u .  (1925) with the theme of love developed  This c y c l e i s completely d i f f e r e n t from the t r a g i c  overtones of jealousy, hopeless and u n f u l f i l l e d love of Moscow the Tavern City.  Here the poet describes harmonious r e l a t i o n s where happiness comes  from loving the other partner rather than from being loved, and resentment or vengeance do not come into the p i c t u r e even i n the case of b e t r a y a l . H KOiyj;a n o o T A JWSvMaSl C Bjnroto  OH  eii  HAeT  K  Jw6vuoTd,  A P V T H M JB.AHT  Ha  JIOJKIS.,  «HBHTe^ibHoM xpaiiHMHM, a c e p A u e H e 3anycTHT H O ^ K H K . ( I l l , 114,  1925)  In this c y c l e the exotic Persian landscape i s often compared to the vastness of the Russian land:  .nyua TaK  "OTHero  Ha coptf CJIOBHO noA  H.'.: H  i'OHH  xo.jcy  CBOTHT  TVCKJIO  XopoccaHa?  paBHHHoM  iirypiiiaiiJHM n o ^ i o r o M  pyecwoH  TyMaHa",  —  (III,  117,  1925)  In Persian Melodies the poet attained the height of h i s poetic skill.  The  o r i e n t a l atmosphere i s recreated with  abundant references'to  many d i f f e r e n t c o l o r s . -The epithets and images are numerous and  vivid:  "Sinie tsvety Tegerana," "goluboi ogon ," " l e b i a z h ' i r u k i , " "strana 1  i'erdousi," "Laskovyi urus," "Zadumchivo prostye glaza"; "lepestkami  roza  106 razpleskalas*," "ruki m i l o i para lebedei," "luna bledneet  pechal'no."  Esenin's verses are known f o r t h e i r melodiousness  and many of h i s  poems such as 'The Maple Tree," "Letter to my Mother" (Pis'mo ma t o r i ) (1924) have been successfully set to music.  Persian Melodies, more than any other  group o f poems, are permeated with a constant flow o f melody.  Rhymes,  which are otherwise rather scattered and unruly, here play an important role.  The poem "Shagane" i s a good example f o r i t s musical q u a l i t i e s and  characteristic versification. IHaraua T H M O H , UlaraHa! FIoTOMy, H T O H c ceBepa, H T O J M , H roTOB paccKa3aTb rede nojB, IIpO BOJIHHCTyiO pOKb ITpH JiyHe. IIIaraHo T H M O H , IUaraHa. FIoTOMy, H T O H c ceBepa, H T O J I H , HTO  jr/Ha  TaM  orpoMHeH  B CTO  pao,  KaK dn H H dHJI KpaCHB IUHpaa, O H He jryHUie pH3aHG K H X pa3^ojiHH. rioTOMy, H T O a c ceBepa, HTO J I H . T O T O B paccKa3aTb xede noje. 3TH BOJIOCH B3HJI H y ptCH, E C J M xoneiub, H a najien, BSTIM —  H  H  HHCKOJIbKO He  H  TOTOB  HVBCTBVK)  dOJIH.  paccKa3aTb xede nojB.  ripo BojiHHCTyio pcoKb npH jiyHe flo K V A P H M T H M O H M AoraAaMcH, /[oporaH, uryTH, yjindaMcn, He d y f l H TOjrbKO naMHTb B O M H O ripo BOJIHHCTyiO pcwcb npH jr/He. llIaraHO T H M O H , UlaraHa! TaM, Ha ceBepe, fleByuiKa  TCwce,  Ha Tedn OHa CTpaumo rroxo^Ka, M C U B T , flyMaeT odo une... lllarana T H M O H , UJarana.  ( I l l , 98, 1924) Tlie f i r s t stanza binds the rest o f the poem o r g a n i c a l l y by the f a c t that  107  each of i t s l i n e s begins and ends the other stanzas.  This order i s not  'adh.en.-d to i n the f i r s t and l a s t verses which both begin and end with the same l i n e .  In each stanza the rhyme pattern i s the same.  Thus i n the  third stanza we have " b o l i " from the fourth l i n e which goes with "pole" of the f i r s t and the f i f t h l i n e s ; then " r z h i " from the second t i e s i n with " v i a z h i " from the t h i r d l i n e .  This work undoubtedly represents  the  height of the author's poetic technique,. The development of Esenin's l e x i c o n growth as a poet.  In h i s e a r l y works he used dialectisms extensively.  The m i l i e u of h i s childhood early formation as language. he was  i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to h i s  (Konstantinovo  and Spas-klepiki) where h i s  <3. poet took place also had a great influence on h i s  Later on i n Petersburg, a f t e r some of h i s poems were published,  influenced by Kliuev and encouraged by h i s use of the Olonets d i a l e c t to  pay special attention to the l o c a l words of the Riazan' region, p a r t i c u l a r l y to those that are almost forgotten. his  Here are some examples, mostly from  early works: "Kupyr»," " p r i b a s k i , " "dergach," "bochag," "brusnitsa,"  "boronok," "podtyk," "vyt*," " u l o g i i , " "shchipul'nik," "dontse," " g o l i t s a , "  "leshchuga,"  "kholivo," " s k u f i a , " "bavknut," " v o i , "  " k v e l y i , " " e l a n k i , " " z a v d a l y i , " " k i v l i v y i , " "kolod," "korogod," "makhotka," " p o v i t e l ' , " "popki," "grebat," "zadvashit*," "koshnitsa,"  "drachiona,"  "siverga," " p i a t e r i k , " "rezan'," "shirak," "diozhka," "gasnitsa," "otchar*," "obzha," "kukan," " n o i a t ; " "podozochek," "skriazha," " s k r i a n u f , " " k u l i g a , " "^utemy," "sugor'e," "nastno," "na-umiak," " l e k h i , " "khrup," " k o p y t i t . " To that we should add B i b l i c a l arid  Church Slavonic expressions: "paskha,"  "spas," "bozhnitsa," "kanon," "Iordan," "drevo," "glava," " o c h i , " "chado."  1  108  After the Revolution and with h i s growing r o l e as a national, poet the  provincialisms gradually fade out o f h i s vocabulary. Nevertheless,  they w i l l remain as a natural part of the language of some of h i s characters such as, f o r instance, Pron's i n Anna Snegina.  Tn h i s poems with Revolutionary  themes, B i b l i c a l symbols and expressions are used e i t h e r blasphemously as in: " l a krichu sniav s Khrista shtany"; "iazykom v y l i z h u na ikonakh i a / Lik muchenikov i sviatykh"; or to indicate the missionary" r o l e of the Revolution i n f u l f i l l i n g the dreams of C h r i s t i a n i t y : "Novyi na kobyle edet k miru s p a s . " Esenin also used many c r u d i t i e s i n h i s poems.  Notable f o r  t h i s i s the cycle Moscow the Tavern City_ from h i s imagist period: "Vydra, stei-va, parshyvaia suka" (for women), "garmonist spirtom s i f i l i s  lechit."  The p e c u l a r i t i e s of Esenin's language from the l a s t two years can probably be seen best of a l l i n Persian Melodies and Anna Snegina. In the f i r s t work we f i n d great numbers of  exotic expressions, which  were used to evoke the atmosphere of the East: the blue flowers of Teheran; a shawl from Khorassan; a carpet from Shiraz; lovely Lallah; a song o f Khayyam; the songs o f Saadi; the song o f Scheherezade; the pale blue land of F i r d o u s i ; the gardens and walls o f Khorassan. The language o f Anna Snegina i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g f o r the fact that each character has a d i f f e r e n t way o f expressing himself, according to h i s own personality.  Harsh and uncompromising,  Pron's character i s  shown through h i s words-: Tap&KaHbe OTpoA£>el  Bee K CHeriiHOHl.. P-pa3 M KBac!  ( I l l , 289, 1.925)  109 But the kind hearted m i l l e r speaks i n a d i f f e r e n t manner:  "ro..TyOHHKl 03Hd,  naM?  BOT FIOAH  paAOCTb! Cepryxa! npoApor? . (Ill,  299,  1925)  Throughout the poem the author showed remarkable s k i l l  i n maintaining  the l e x i c a l s t y l e o f each character according to h i s p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l and cultural level.  But when the poet speaks  lie uses l o c a l words and c o l l o q u i a l  phrases, but s e l e c t i v e l y , with t a s t e and concern f o r a reader unfamiliar with them.  "Doroga dovol'no klioroshaia," "daiu sorokovku," " t a k o i  o t v r a t i t e l ' n y i malyi." At the time o f the c r e a t i o n o f Anna Snegina there was a tendency among many Soviet writers to introduce f r e e l y as many unknown words as possible, without using any p a r t i c u l a r l i t e r a r y c r i t e r i o n .  So Esenin  employed many new expressions that were created during and a f t e r the October Revolution and were already becoming part o f everyday language throughout the country: " l i p a , " " k a l i f s t v o v a l , " "seremiozhnaia "sorokovka," "kerenki," " d e s e r t i r , " "grazhdanin,"  r a t ' , " "mortiry,"  "komissar," "kat'ka."  In using the l o c a l words he seemed to have selected those that derive from already f a m i l i a r roots: " P o c h i t a i , " " p r i i a t s t v e n n y , " " z h i s t ' , " "buldyzhnik," "shishka," "starshina"^ or idioms: "my delu u s l o v i l i  shir*,"  ".- vazhnye ochen' ne lezem." Tlius, the l e x i c o n close to  o f Esenin's l a s t two years was  the l i t e r a r y Russian language i n vocabulary as well as i n the  manner o f s e l e c t i n g and using newly "found" words.  110  Footnotes  Esenin's Craftsmariship and Lexicology  1. For the reader u n f a m i l i a r with them, the meaning o f these words can be found e i t h e r i n the glossary of Sergei Esenin, S t i k h i i poemy (Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1965) or i n E. M. Galkina-Fedoruk, 0 s t i l e p o e z i i Sergeia Esenina; L e k s i c h e s k i i sostav s t i k h o t v o r e n i i Sergeia Esenina (Moskva: Moskovskii u n i v e r s i t e t , 1965). 2.  Ibid.  Ill Conclusion  One of the basic p r i n c i p l e s of Esenin's a r t i s that of the interpenetrations and interconnections between landscapes In the poet's own  and humans.  soul there are no boundaries separating man  Nature, as we have seen i t i n the previous chapters of this This influenced his poetry, i n more than one way.  from study.  F i r s t of a l l i t  gave to his imagination great freedom and c r e a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t y . Secondly, as he was  able to use landscapes  c h a r a c t e r s i t i c s , r e c i p r o c a l l y he was  as means of u n v e i l i n g human  able to a t t r i b u t e human q u a l i t i e s  to Nature. Esenin gives equal consideration to the plant and animal world and treats them as a single e n t i t y , r e l a t i n g f r e e l y one to the other: a l i t t l e maple t r e e , "klenionochek,"  suckles i t s mother's udder.  Also  i n the same prospective he views domestic and w i l d animals, f o r instance he gives equal poetic concern f o r the wolf as for the dog, or for the cow as f o r the fox.  This shows the depth and s i n c e r i t y of h i s conception  o f unity i n Nature. An unrestrained flow and fusion of d i f f e r e n t  sensations  gathered from the world of Nature and human s o c i e t y represents  the  basis of Esenin's pantheism. The profound humanism and love f o r everything that has and beauty dominates his entire work.  life  In h i s poetic response to the  i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n of Russia he showed, perhaps, more than anywhere else i n his work, s e n s i t i v i t y and depth of his love f o r Nature.  His  112 passionate protest against the destruction o f l i v i n g Nature as evidenced i n the works "Sorokoust" and "Volchia g i b e l ' " i s one o f his  f i n e s t poetic expressions. In the course o f Esenin's short l i f e he witnessed cataclysmic  changes i n h i s country, the F i r s t World War, the Revolution and the C i v i l War.  These events had an influence on h i s l i f e and a r t .  However, h i s basic conception o f Nature p r e v a i l s even i n the poetry o f his  l a s t period.  illustration.  The poem Anna Snegina from h i s l a s t year i s a good  Here, besides descriptions o f many characters and events,  we f i n d subtle but d e f i n i t e p a n t h e i s t i c approaches  to l i f e and Nature.  During the l a s t two years o f h i s l i f e the idea of suicide was very much present i n h i s work.  For Esenin dying was an a r t , he  saw i t everywhere, i n Nature, i n human l i v e s and i n h i s own l i f e as w e l l ; on t h i s subject he wrote many poems. nightmare against which he fought.  For T o l s t o i dying was a  Perhaps that was one o f the  reasons f o r h i s s u r v i v a l o f h i s c r i s i s . Esenin's craftsmanship represents one o f h i s f i n e s t  achievements.  Images are the most frequent and most important poetic device that he uses.  These are b r i l l a n t p r o j e c t i o n s , formed f r e e l y and spontaneously,  endowed with l i f e and r e a l i t y always v e i l e d by passionate poetic expression. T h e imaginative part o f Esenin's expressions (the tropes), as a whole, are neither instruments of h i s thoughts nor external ornaments, but are o r g a n i c a l l y bound to l i f e by the poetic composition. However, they are o f the greatest importance because they account for  the e s s e n t i a l beauty of h i s poetry.  In h i s poetic f i g u r a t i o n the  e s s e n t i a l thought, the "meaning" of any poem, i s not e x p l i c i t but rather i t i s i n d i r e c t l y communicated by sensual images created as c l u s t e r s o f sounds, smells and v i s u a l projections i n which range he • particularly colorful.  In most instances only the images can  approach the depth o f h i s emotions and surpass the power o f ordinary language.  114 Bibliography  Belousov, V.  Sergei Esenin.  Sergei Esenin.  Moskva: Izdatel'stvo "Znanie", 1965.  Moskva: Izdatel'stvo "Sovietskaia R o s s i i a " ,  —'—1555:— Sergei Esenin.  Moskva: Izdatel'stvo "Sovietskaia R o s s i i a " ,  Galkina-Fedoruk, E.M. 0 s t i l e p o e z i i Sergeia Esenina. Moskva: Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo u n i v e r s i t e t a , 1965. Graaff de Frances. Sci-gei Esenin: biographical sketch. P a r i s : Mouton and Co., 1966. Esenin, Sergei Aleksandrovich. Sobranie s o c h i n e n i i . Khudozhestvennaia l i t e r a t u r a , 1966. . Iudkevich,  L.G.  Iushin, P. .  Moskva: Izdatel'stvo  L i r i c h e s k i i geroi Esenina. Kazaif: Izdatel'stvo Kazanskogo u n i v e r s i t e t a , 1971.  Poeziia Sergeia Esenina 1910-1923 godov. Moskovskogo u n i v e r s i t e t a , 1966.  Nbskva:  Sergei Esenin: ideino-tvorcheskaia evol/utsiia. Moskovskogo u n i v e r s i t e t a , 1969.  Korzhan, V.V.  Esenin i narodnaia p o e z i i a . "Nauka", 1969.  Sergei Esenin.  Prokushev, Iu.  Moskva:  Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo  Marchenko, I l i a . P o e t i c h e s k i i mir Esenina. 1972": Naumov, E.  London, The Hague,  Moskva: Sovetskii p i s a t e l ' ,  Leningrad: Lenizdat, 1969.  Iunost' Esenina.  Moskva: Moskovskii r a b o c h i i , 1963.  , ed.  Vospominaniia o Sergee Esenine. 1965.  , ed.  Na rodine Esenina.  Moskva: Moskovskii r a b o c h i i ,  Moskva: Moskovskii r a b o c h i i , 1969.  Roizman, Matvei. Vsio chto pomniu o Esenine. "Sovietskaia Rossia", 1973. Shneider, I l ' l a . Vstrechls Eseninym. Rossia", 1965.  Nbskva: Izdatel'stvo  Nbskva" Izdatel'stvo "Sovietskaia  115 V e r z h b i t s k i i , N i k o l a i . V s t r e c h i s Eseninym. T b i l i s i : Izdatel'stvo Soiuza p i s a t e l e i G r u z i i "Zari-a Vostoka', 1961. Veyrenc, Jacques. La forme poetigue de Serge Esenin, l e s rythmes. The Hague: Mouton, 1968. Voronskii, A.  Literaturno-kriticheskie s t a t ' i . p i s a t e l " ' , 1963.  Moskva: " S o v i e t s k i i  Other Sources  Aseev, N.  " T r i vstrech s Sesninym", Sb. S. A. Esenin (Moskva: i z d . GIZ,  1926)  Beatty, Arthur. William Wordsworth, His Doctrine and Art i n Their H i s t o r i c a l Relations. Madison: The U n i v e r s i t y of Wiscons i n Press, 1962. Beliaev, I.  Podlinnyi. Esenin. Sotsial'no-psikhologicheskii etiud (Voronezh: Grupa p i s a t e l e i Chernozem, 1927)  Bukharin, N.  Zlye zametki, o pisatel'skom etike (Leningrad, P r i b o i ,  Byron, Lord.  The Poetic Works of Lord Byron.  V a s i l ' e v , S.  "Zhivaia p o e z i i a . K 6 0 - l e t i i u so dnia rozhdeniia S. Esnina", Ogoniok (Moskva), no.40, 1955.  Vinbgradskaia, S o f i a . German, Emmanuel.  1927)  London: Frederick Warne, n.d.  Kak z h i l Sergei Esenin (Moskva: Ogoniok,  "Seriozha", Vecheniaia Moskva, 31/XII,  G o r ' k i i , Maxim. On L i t e r a t u r e , Selected A r t i c l e s . Languages Publishing House, n.d.  1926)  1925.  Moscow: Foreign  Danilov, Mikh, "Pevets golubeni", Bakunskii Rabochii, 31/XII,  1925.  Evgen'ev-Maksimov. Ocherk i s t o r i i noveishei russkoi l i t e r a t u r y i z d . 2-e GIZ, 1926)  (Leningrad:  Ivnev, R i u r i k , "0 Esenine".  1926)  Ingulov, S.  Sb. S.A.  Esenin (Moskva: i z d . GIZ,  "V molitvennom ekstaze (o knige Esenina "Beriozovyi s i t e t s ' " ) Kommuna (Kaluga), 11/VIII, 1925.  116 Kleinbort, L.  "Pechatnye organy i n t e l l i g e n t s i i i z naroda". z a p i s k i , no. 6, 1915.  Kliuev, N i k o l a i . Sochineniia. Tom pervyi. 1969. Kogan, P.S.  Severnye  Buchvertrieb und Verbog:  "Esenin", Vecherniaia Moskva, 31/XII,  1925.  Konstantinov, L. "Poetichesk obzor za mai v Moskve", Znamia (Moskva), no. (5-6), 1920. L e l e v i c h , G.  "0 bolezniakh i opasnostiakh". Sb. Protiv (Moskva: i z d . Pravda i Bednota, 1926)  upadochnichestva  Lunacharskii, A . V . Doklad. upradochnoe nastroenie s r e d i molodiozhi i p r e n i i a (Izd. Kommunisticheskaia Akademiia, Moskva, 1921) P i l ' n i a k , Boris.  "0 Sergee Esenine".  Zhumalist  (Moskva), no. 1,  1926.  Ponomareff, C . A . "Death and Decay: an Analysis of S.A. Esenin's Poetic Form," Canadian S l a v i c Papers, v o l . X, No. 2 (Summer, 1968), pp. 180-209. Sakulin, P.  "Narodnyi z l a t o t s v e t , " Vestnik Evropy  Shestov, L.  Dostoevskii, T o l s t o i and Nietzsche. U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1969.  Slovo o Polku Igoreve. Moskva: Izdatel'stvo l i t e r a t u r e , 1967.  (Petrograd), no. Athens, 0.: Ohio  khudozhestvennaia  S v i a t o p o l k - M i r s k i i , "Esenin" V o l i a R o s s i i , kn. V (Praga, T o l s t o i , L.N.  Polnoe sobranie sochinenii . vennaia l i t e r a t u r e , 1957.  T r o i a t , Henri. Khomchuk, N.  Tolstoi.  1916.  1926)  Moskva: Gosizdat, Khudozhest-  New York: Doubleday, 1967.  "Esenin i Kliuev (Po neopublik. materialam)," Russkaia l i t e r a t u r a , no. 2, 1958.  Khrapovitskii, L. "Krasa (o vechere gruppy 'krasa' v Petrograde)," Rudin (Petrograd) no. 1, 1915. Wordsworth, William. The Poetic Works of Wordsworth. University Press, 1928.  London: Oxford  3-4  


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items