Nikolai Kliuev

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kliuev, Nikolai Alekseevich


Born 1887 in Olonets Province; died August 1937. Soviet Russian poet.

Kliuev came from a peasant family and was educated at home. His first collections of poetry were The Ringing of Pines (1912; preface by V. Briusov) and Brotherly Songs (1912). Kliuev was associated with Symbolist circles. He was a leader of the new peasant trend in poetry (represented by S. Esenin, S. Klychkov, and P. Oreshin) and had some influence on Esenin’s early work. Kliuev was an original poet, although his poetry, archaic in form, was permeated by patriarchal and religious moods. This attitude is also in evidence in his perception of revolutionary reality, which he treated in the spirit of a reactionary peasant utopia.


Pesnoslov, books 1–2. Petrograd, 1919.
Lenin, 3rd ed. Petrograd, 1924.
Izba i pole. Leningrad, 1928.


Khomchuk, N. “Esenin i Kliuev (po neopublikovannym materialam.)” Russkaia literatura, 1958, no. 2.
Orlov, V. “Nikolai Kliuev.” Literaturnaia Rossia, Nov. 25, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
(2) This paper, drawing on examples from three distinct historical periods, attempts to problematize the concept of a Russian "peasant poet" through an investigation both of individual poets (Mikhail Lomonosov, Aleksei Kol'tsov, and Nikolai Kliuev) and of some of the broad theoretical issues raised by this phenomenon in Russian cultural history.
As if anticipating de Certeau's dismissal of this mythical voice, and rising up in its defense, the early twentieth-century Russian poet Nikolai Kliuev (1884-1937) wrote a programmatic poem entitled "Voice from the Narod." The poem appeared in Kliuev's first collection, The Ringing of Pines (1911), which established the poet's public reputation in the literary world, although he had already been conducting a lively four-year correspondence with Aleksandr Blok, the most famous poet of the day.
If the early nineteenth century marked the beginning of the Russian peasant-poet phenomenon, and its apex was reached in the early twentieth century in the figure of Nikolai Kliuev, the end of the phenomenon was marked by Soviet attitudes toward any form of independent peasant culture.
(12.) A notable exception is the detailed and thought-provoking work of Konstantin Azadovskii in numerous articles on Kliuev and in his book Nikolai Kliuev: Put' poeta.