(pen name of Igor’ Vasil’evich Lotarev). Born May 4 (16), 1887, in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 20, 1941, in Tallinn. Russian poet.
Severianin published his first work in 1904. He gained popularity in 1913, after the publication of the collection The Thunderously Boiling Goblet; themes from this collection reappeared in subsequent collections of his verse, which included The Golden Lyre (1914), Pineapples in Champagne (1915), and Poetic Intermission (1915). Severianin hailed the overthrow of the autocracy but failed to understand the October Revolution of 1917. An émigré from 1918, he published several collections of poetry and translations. In 1940 his verses were published in Soviet magazines.
Severianin produced work of extremely varied and contradictory quality. He was head of the ego-futurist movement. His best poems were characterized by lyricism, musicality, and pointed satire. Many other poems, however, reflected a limited outlook and lack of taste; they were mannered and banal and dealt primarily with “restaurant” and “boudoir” themes. In his last years, Severianin wrote lucid classicistic poetry. He translated works by Baudelaire, Verlaine, A. Mickiewicz, and Estonian poets.
WORKSStikhotvoreniia. [Introductory article by V. A. Rozhdestvenskii.] Leningrad, 1975.
REFERENCESKritika o tvorchestve I. Severianina. Moscow, 1916.
Chukovskii, K. Futuristy: Obraztsy futurliteralury; Sobr. soch., vol. 6. Moscow, 1969.
Istoriia russkoi literatury kontsa XlX-nach. XX vv.: Bibliografich. ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
S. L. ZALIN