“Poetry Afternoon”

Today it is a Russian Poet I have chosen, his name was Sergei Yesenin, I am sure you have probably heard of him.

Born   –   Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin on October 3, 1895 in Konstantinovo, Ryazan Governorate, Russian Empire.

He Died December 28, 1925 aged just 30 years.  Leningrad, Soviet Union.

Yesenin was Married four times.  Anna Zyryanova  1913-1916    –    Zinaida Reich 1917-1921

Isadora Duncan 1922-1925    –    Sophia Tolstaya 1925 to his death.

He is known as one of the most popular well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.  Born to a peasant family, he spent the majority of his childhood with his Grandparents, who raised him.  Yesenin began to write poetry at the young age of of nine. In 1916 Yesenin publishes his first book of poems “Radonitsa”.  Through his collections of poignant poetry about love and the simple life, he became one of the most popular poets of the day.  By his first marriage to Anna Zyryanova he had one Son.   By his second marriage to Zinaida Raikh he had a Daughter and Son.

In the Autumn of 1921 Yesenin met the Paris based American dancer Isadora Duncan, she was 18 years his senior.  Both only knowing a few words of each others language, he toured Europe and the United States with his celebrity Wife.  Their marriage was to be a brief one.   In 1923 Yesenin became romantically involved with an actress Augusta Miklashevsky, to whom he dedicated several of his poems.  The same year he had a Son with the poet Nadezhda Volpin, their Son Alexander Esenin-Volpin became a poet and prominent activist in the Soviet dissident movement of the 1960s.  Since 1972 to his death in 2016 he lived in America and became a famous mathematician and teacher.

Yesenin married his fourth and last Wife Sophia Andreyevna Tolstaya  (1900-1957) she was a granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy.  They were married to Yesenin death.

When Yesenin  popularity grew so did rumors begin to circulate about his heavy drinking and alcohol-fueled public outbursts.   A fellow poet Vladimir Mayakovsky claimed that after Yesenin return from America he became more visible in the newspaper police log sections than in poetry.

On December 28, 1925 Yesenin was found dead in his room in the Hotel Angleterre in St Petersburg, his last poem “Goodbye my friend, goodbye”, according to Wolf Ehrlich was given to him the day before Yesenin died.   Yesenin complained he had no ink in his room. Therefore, he was forced to write with his blood.  It was claimed he was depressed and committed suicide.  Yet there were clear wounds on his body, hence an assassination was claimed, that he was murdered by NKVD agents who made it look like a suicide.

 

“You Were Crying On A Quiet Night”  1911-1912

You were crying on a quiet night,

Those tears in your eyes you weren’t hiding.

I was so sad, it was a real plight,

And yet we couldn’t overcome misunderstanding

 

Now you are gone, I’m here, on my own,

My dreams have faded, losing tint and colour,

You left me, and again I am all alone,

Without tender word and greeting, in my parlour.

 

When evening comes I often, a crowned with rue,

Come to the place of our dating here,

And in my dreams I see the sight of you

And hear you crying bitterly, my dear.

Translated by Alec Vagapov

 

 

This is Yesenin last Poem, written in his own blood as he had no ink.  It was written the day before he presumably hanged himself.

“Goodbye, my friend, goodbye

My love, you are in my heart.

It was preordained we should part

And be reunited by and by.

 

Goodbye, no handshake to endure.

Let’s have no sadness – furrowed brow.

There’s nothing new in dying now

Though living is no newer.

 

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed the Poems and the above composers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on ““Poetry Afternoon”

    1. It certainly is a sad story especially he was so young. The poem of his I wanted to put out was called “Letter to a Woman” it was 17 paragraphs, too long but so lovely. Thanks Rob for looking into the poem section, means a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. My father tried to be sure I learned from all the classics, but either my memory is bad [and it is] or we missed this one. I can’t imagine why, I remember watching a PBS TV show on Isadora Duncan’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

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