Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin

(14 July 1743 – 20 July 1816 / Kazan)

Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin
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Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin was arguably one of the greatest Russian poets before Alexander Pushkin, as well as a statesman. Although his works are traditionally considered literary classicism, his best verse is rich with antitheses and conflicting sounds in a way reminiscent of John Donne and other metaphysical poets.


Derzhavin was born in Kazan. His distant ancestor Morza Bagrim, who relocated from the Great Horde in the 15th century to Moscow, was baptized and became a vassal of the Russian Grand Prince Vasily II. Nevertheless, by the 18th century Derzhavin's father was just a poor country squire who died when Gavrila was still young. He received a little ... more »

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