Anton Delvig

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Del’vig, Anton Antonovich

 

Born Aug. 6 (17), 1798, in Moscow; died Jan. 14 (26), 1831, in St. Petersburg. Russian poet, baron.

In 1817, Del’vig graduated from the Tsarskoe Selo Lycée, where he had become a friend of A. S. Pushkin. He had begun to publish poems even while still a student at the lycée.

In 1817, Del’vig graduated from the Tsarskoe Selo Lycée, ety of Lovers of Literature, Sciences, and the Arts. In his poetry he was an original successor to the classical tradition earlier explored by K. N. Batiushkov. His principal genres were lyrical works—imitations of ancient Greek poems (idylls)—and poems in the spirit of Russian folksongs. For Del’vig the attraction to classicism was linked with romantic searchings for harmonious simplicity and a naturalness of feeling. Despite their intimate quality, Del’vig’s lyrics played a prominent role in the development of poetic forms and metrical technique (Del’vig was one of the first in Russian poetry to work out a sonnet form). Pushkin wrote that in Del’vig’s poems “one notices an unusual feeling of harmony as well as that classical balance and proportion which he never betrayed” (Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 7, 1958, p. 316). Beginning in 1825, Del’vig published the almanac Severnye tsvety (Northern Flowers; 1825-31) and from 1830 (jointly with Pushkin), Literaturnaia gazeta (1830-31). Both publications brought together the poets of Pushkin’s circle and defended their positions in the literary conflict of the 1820’s. Some songs by Del’vig were set to music, including The Nightingale (music by A. A. Aliab’ev) and Not an Autumn Drizzle (music by M. I. Glinka).

WORKS

Poln. sobr. stikhotvorenii, 2nd ed. Introduction by B. Tomashevskii, Leningrad, 1959.
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.

REFERENCES

Verkhovskii, Iu. N. Baron Del’vig: Materialy biograficheskie i literaturnye. Petrograd, 1922.
Rozanov, I. N. Poety dvadtsatykh godov XIX v. Moscow, 1925.
Istoriia russkoi literatury XIX v.: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
References in periodicals archive ?
The four sonnets of Trediakovsky's contemporary, Aleksandr Petrovich Sumarokov, better known as the father of Russian drama, are markedly superior to Trediakovsky's, but Pushkin's friend Baron Anton Antonovich Delvig was "the first significant Russian sonnetist" (R[annit], 439; Terras, 130).
Here the maidens did not yet know it, When for it even Delvig forgot The sacred melodies of the hexameter.
Pushkin"s list includes, first, Dante, then, in order, Petrarch, Shakespeare, Camoes, Wordsworth, Mickiewicz, and Delvig.
Before turning to his three great contemporary masters of the sonnet, the Englishman Wordsworth, the Pole Mickiewicz, and the Russian Delvig, Pushkin devotes a line to Camoes, as he has done with the other great sonneteers of the past, Dante, Petrarch, and Shakespeare.
Wolff, 47, 359) (8) With the omission of Tasso, Spenser, and Milton, Pushkin finds room "Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground" to honour, along with Wordsworth, two other distinguished contemporary sonneteers, both Slavs: Adam Mickiewicz, a Pole, and Anton Delvig, a Russian.
According to Victor Tetras, Delvig "wrote some of the best sonnets in the language, in particular two sonnets of 1823 whose subject is poetry, 'Inspiration' and 'To N.