Sergey Alexandrovich Yesenin

(1895-1925 / Russia)

Biography of Sergey Alexandrovich Yesenin

Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin ( 1895 – 1925) was a Russian lyrical poet. He was one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.

In 1916, Yesenin published his first book of poems, Ritual for the Dead (Radunitsa, Russian: Радуница). Through his collections of poignant poetry about love and the simple life, he became one of the most popular poets of the day. His first marriage was in 1913 to Anna Izryadnova, a co-worker from the publishing house, with whom he had a son, Yuri.

Later that year, he moved to St Petersburg, where he met Klyuev. For the next two years, they were close friends, living together most of the time. Some modern researchers suppose that Klyev was the addressee of Yesenin's love letters. From 1916 to 1917, Yesenin was drafted into military duty, but soon after the October Revolution of 1917, Russia exited World War I. Believing that the revolution would bring a better life, Yesenin briefly supported it, but soon became disillusioned and sometimes criticized the Bolshevik rule in such poems as The Stern October Has Deceived Me.

In August 1917 Yesenin married for a second time to an actress, Zinaida Raikh (later wife of Vsevolod Meyerhold). They had two children, a daughter Tatyana and a son Konstantin. Konstantin Yesenin would become a well-known soccer statistician.

In September 1918, Yesenin founded his own publishing house called Labor Company of Artists of Word")

In the fall of 1921, while visiting the studio of painter Ghyorghi Yakulov, Yesenin met the Paris-based American dancer Isadora Duncan, a woman 18 years his senior who knew only a dozen words in Russian. He spoke no foreign languages. They married on May 2, 1922. Yesenin accompanied his celebrity wife on a tour of Europe and the United States but at this point in his life, an addiction to alcohol had gotten out of control. Often drunk, Yesenin had violent rages in which he destroyed hotel rooms and caused disturbances in restaurants. This behavior received a great deal of publicity in the international press. [citation needed] His marriage to Duncan was brief and in May 1923, he returned to Moscow. He almost immediately became involved with actress Augusta Miklashevskaya. He is rumoured to have married her in a civil ceremony, although he had not obtained a divorce from Duncan.

The same year he had a son by the poet Nadezhda Volpin. Sergei Yesenin never knew his son by Volpin, but Alexander Esenin-Volpin grew up to become a prominent poet. He was also an activist in the Soviet Union's dissident movement of the 1960s with Andrei Sakharov and others. After moving to the United States, Esenin-Volpin became a prominent mathematician.

Sergey Alexandrovich Yesenin's Works:

* The Scarlet of the Dawn (1910)
* The high waters have licked (1910)
* The Birch Tree (1913)
* Autumn (1914)
* I'll glance in the field (1917)
* I left the native home (1918)
* Hooligan (1919)
* Hooligan's Confession (1920) (Italian translation sung by Angelo Branduardi)
* I am the last poet of the village (1920)
* Prayer for the First Forty Days of the Dead (1920)
* I don't pity, don't call, don't cry (1921)
* Pugachev (1921)
* Land of Scoundrels (1923)
* One joy I have left (1923)
* A Letter to Mother (1924)
* Tavern Moscow (1924)
* Confessions of a Hooligan (1924),
* Desolate and Pale Moonlight (1925)
* The Black Man (1925)
* To Kachalov's Dog (1925)
* Goodbye, my friend, goodbye (1925) (His farewell poem)

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