Nikolai Gumilev

Gumilev, Nikolai Stepanovich

 

Born Apr. 3 (15), 1886, in Kronstadt; died Aug. 24, 1921, in Petrograd. Russian poet.

Gumilev first published his works in 1902. He began as a student of the symbolists, particularly of V. Ia. Briusov. In 1911 he organized the Poets’ Guild, a literary group. In 1913, with S. Gorodetskii, he proclaimed the literary doctrine of acmeism. Gumilev traveled extensively, visiting Africa three times. He was infatuated with the East. His major books of verse are The Path of the Conquistadores (1905), Romantic Flowers (1908), Pearls (1910), Foreign Sky (1912), Quiver (1916), The Pyre (1918), Tent (1921), and Pillar of Fire (1921). He is the author of The Palm’s Shadow (1922), a collection of short stories, Letters on Russian Poetry (1923), a collection of criticism, and translations of the Babylonian epic Gil-gamesh, of English and French folk songs, and of the works of Voltaire, T. Gautier, S. Coleridge, R. Southey, O. Wilde, and H. Heine.

He joined the fighting at the front in 1914. In October 1917 he was in France with the Russian Expeditionary Corps and returned to Petrograd the following year. He participated in the work of the Vsemirnaia Literatura Publishing House and taught courses in poetry. Gumilev created new rhythms; his verse was colorful and had a proud, lofty tone. The exotic quality of the poetry, the theme of withdrawal from contemporary reality, and the cult of power and will are the weaknesses of his verse. Gumilev did not accept the revolution and took part in a counterrevolutionary conspiracy; he was shot with the other participants.

WORKS

Stikhotvoreniia: Posmertnyi sbornik, 2nd ed. Petrograd, 1923.

REFERENCES

Blok, A. “Bez bozhestva, bez vdokhnoven’ia.” Sobr. soch., vol. 6. Moscow-Leningrad, 1962.
Orlov, VI. “Na rubezhe dvukh epokh. (Iz. istorii russkoi poezii nachala nashego veka.)” Voprosy literatury, 1966, no. 10.
Istoriia russkoi literatury kontsa XIX-nachala XX veka: Bibliografich. ukazatel’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.

F. E. BUKHINA

References in periodicals archive ?
Editions of Osip Mandel'shtam, Nikolai Gumilev, and Boris Pasternak simply could not be printed quickly enough or in sufficient print runs.
The cover of Rylkova's book features a picture taken from a 1989 film in which (to quote the back cover) "the image of Anna Akhmatova dissolves into the image of Nikolai Gumilev.
Ol'ga Berggol'ts presents a paradox by the fact that while she started out as a disciple of Nikolai Kliuev, Nikolai Gumilev, and the Formalists, she became a 'Komsomol poet', and until her last years preserved a belief in the romantic ideals of the revolution.
The book's title, literally "Imperial Branch," is a pointed double entendre, for vetka (branch) may also be the branch of a railway line and, in the case in point, the line to Tsarskoe Selo, site of the school made immortal by its pupil Aleksandr Pushkin, as well as, more recently by the director of the local high school (gimnaziia), Innokenty Annensky, and his pupils Nikolai Gumilev and Anna Akhmatova.
Altogether more typical, though, of Dzerzhinsky's later years was the arrest and execution (August 1921) of sixty-one "conspirators" in Petrograd, among whom only one enjoyed wide contemporary fame: Nikolai Gumilev, first husband of Anna Akhmatova, and himself a poet of consequence.
Petersburg, including Nikolai Gumilev, who had worked with Mandelstam and Akhmatova--thus the odyssey of Russia in the twentieth century, which sent Russians, including Berberova, into exile, and those who stayed into silence, if not Siberia and death.
And yet, Blok was evasive to the point of blankness about Baudelaire - had hardly a word to say about him, never delivered an article he had promised to a journal in 1905, and in 1919 simply failed to fulfil a commission by Nikolai Gumilev to translate Baudelaire's own foreword to Les Fleurs du Mal.
The renaissance is not only in publishing, with theappearance of our first editions of Vladimir Nabokov, Vladislav Khodasevich and Nikolai Gumilev, all long forbidden, as well as books by Anatoly Rybakov and other contemporary authors, whose manuscripts languished for decades in desk drawers.
and the Russian Anna Akhmatova than to the manifesto-writers Ezra Pound and Nikolai Gumilev.
Like many widows of talented men of letters, Voloshina was often criticized by her contemporaries, including Anna Akhmatova, who could not forgive Voloshin his duel with her first husband, Nikolai Gumilev, and who would have liked Voloshin to spend the rest of his life in the company of a mediocre and petty woman--"a midwife," as she often referred to Voloshina.
Myriam Moscona's poetic project in Visperas is clearly stated in the epigraph from Nikolai Gumilev as well as in the first poem in "Anunciacion," the opening section of the book.
The most suitable model, in Martynov's view, was Nikolai Gumilev, who disobligingly refused to offer ringing endorsements of the new regime and was executed in 1921 for alleged participation in a counter-revolutionary plot.