Anton Antonovich Delvig
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).
WORKSPoln. sobr. stikhotvorenii, 2nd ed. Introduction by B. Tomashevskii, Leningrad, 1959.
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
REFERENCESVerkhovskii, 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.