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Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin

(1872 - 1936 / Russia)

Biography of Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin

Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin poet

Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin (1872–1936) was a symbolist poet, prose writer, and playwright. Openly gay, he wrote the first celebrations of gay themes in Russian literature, and the first Russian coming-out novel, Wings (1907), in which a young man learns to accept his sexuality, which makes him feel as if he has grown wings. Kuzmin too was a poet who mined his own biography, incorporating its associations and events in his poem-cycles.

As censorship tightened and ideological wars raged in proletarian literature, Kuzmin's diary (1906-1934) chronicled a life lived through sexuality, art and contemplation of the everyday. His finest autobiographical poem cycle, The Trout Breaks through the Ice (published in 1928) demonstrated the muscularity and range of his mature voice, and evoked a reply from Anna Akhmatova, her famous Poem without a Hero.

Mikhail Kuzmin died on March 1, 1936 of pneumonia.

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PoemHunter.com Updates

We Were Four Sisters

We were four sisters, four sisters were we,
All four of us loved, but had different "becauses:"
One loved because father and mother told her to,
another loved because her lover was rich,
the third loved because he was a famous artist,
and I loved because I fell in love.

We were four sisters, four sisters were we,
All four of us wished, but had different wishes:

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