Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin
Biography of Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin
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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Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin Poems
My Groom And Friend
My groom and friend came from afar. I kiss your feet! He drew his circle around me. I kiss your hands!
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,
Sun, sun, divine Ra-Helios, you delight the hearts of kings and heroes,
When Someone Says: "Alexandria"
When someone says: "Alexandria," I see the white walls of a house, a small garden row of gillyflowers, an autumn evening's pale sunlight
In the feathergrass steppe Sources lie buried, The thirsty sun knows Life isn't raspberries.
I Am Leaving Alexandria
Ah, I am leaving Alexandria and will not see it for a long time! I will see Cyprus, dear to the Goddess, I will see Tyre, Epheses and Smyrna,
Fuji In A Saucer: The Poem
Through tannic steam I catch a glimpse of Fuji: Against a yellow sky volcanic gold A saucer narrows nature very strangely, In shallow ripples lovely to behold.
May dew and haze I catch in taut canvases. Stuffed in a costrel tight, I'll take them home come light.
The Sense Of Your Bidding
The sense of your bidding is unclear: to pray, to curse, is it, to fight you bid me, inscrutable genius? The spring slackens, niggard, meager,
Where Will I Find Words
Where will I find words to describe our stroll, The Chablis on ice, the toasted bread And the sweet agate of ripe cherries? Sunset is far off, and the sea resounds with
I Gather Motley Flowers
I gather motley flowers And braid, braid a garland, Sharp spears fall At your victorious feet.
I hug you, - Both the rainbow to the river And the clouds flame In God's hand.
In the feathergrass steppe
Sources lie buried,
The thirsty sun knows
Life isn't raspberries.
In barren haymeadows
A child tarries,