Afanasi Fet

Biography of Afanasi Fet

Afanasy Afanasyevich Fet (later known as Shenshin 5 December [O.S. 23 November] 1820 — 3 December [O.S. 21 November] 1892), was a Russian poet regarded as one of the finest lyricists in Russian literature.


When Fet first published his poetry in 1842, he was too timid to trust his own artistic taste. He therefore submitted his verse to be examined by Ivan Turgenev, whom he respected as an arbiter of literary tastes. This tradition continued for many years, until Fet understood that Turgenev had expurgated from his verse the most personal and original elements of his artistic vision.

His last pieces, arguably influenced by Baudelaire, are intricate and obscure: the images are meant to evoke (rather than to record) subtle associations of half-forgotten memories. He once said that the most important thing in poetry is a thread that would bind all the rambling associations into a tightly structured short poem.

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