(03 (15) .IV.1886 to 24.VIII.1921)
Nikolai Gumilev is a Russian poet, playwright.
Born April 3 (15 N. s.) In Kronstadt in the family ship’s doctor. He spent his childhood in Tsarskoye Selo, here in 1903 he entered a gymnasium, the director of which was the famous poet I. Annensky. After graduation, he left for Paris, at the Sorbonne. By this time Gumilev was already the author of the book The Way of the Conquistadors, seen by one of the legislators of Russian symbolism V. Bryusov.
In Paris he published the magazine “Sirius” (in which A. Akhmatova made her debut), visited exhibitions, got acquainted with French and Russian writers, consisted of intensive correspondence with Bryusov, who sent his poems, articles, stories.
During these years he visited Africa twice, where he subsequently visited several times.
In 1908 the second book of the poet “Romantic Flowers” was published with a dedication to the future wife of A. Akhmatova (then Anna Gorenko). Returning to Russia, but settled in Tsarskoe Selo, he was enrolled in St. Petersburg University (he studied law, then later on history and philology), but he did not complete the course. He enters the literary life of the capital, meets Voloshin, Kuzmin, and others, and is published in various journals. Since 1909 he became one of the main employees of the journal Apollo, leading the section “Letters on Russian poetry.”
In the autumn of the same year, he goes on a long trip to Africa, returns to Russia in 1910, publishes a collection of poems “Pearls”, which made him a famous poet. Then on April 25 he marries A. Gorenko (A. Akhmatova). In the summer, the young couple visited Paris, and in the autumn he again visited Africa, finally reaching the center of the mainland, Abyssinia, where he wrote local folklore, communicated with local residents, got acquainted with life and art.
By 1911-12 a number of important events in the literary biography of Gumilev: together with Gorodetsky organized the “Poets’ Workshop”, in the depths of which the program of a new literary trend – acmeism – was born; departs from symbolism, which was enshrined in the article “The Legacy of Symbolism and Acmeism.”
1914 brought decisive changes in the fate of N. Gumilev. Previously permanently released from military service, he in the first days of World War volunteered for the front, enlisted
in the Life Guards of the Ulan regiment. By the beginning of 1915 he had already been awarded two St. George Crosses, in March 1916 he was promoted to ensign, transferred to the 5th Hussar Alexandria Regiment.
In May 1917 he was sent on a business trip to the Thessaloniki front, but did not get there, left in Paris. In January 1918, after the disbandment of the military commissar’s office, to which he was assigned, Gumilev went to London and from there returned to Russia. During the war did not stop the literary activity: the collection “Kolchan” was published, the plays “Gondla” and “Poisoned Tunic” were written, the cycle of essays “Notes of the Cavalryman”, etc.
In 1918? 21 Gumilev was one of the most notable figures in the literary life of Petrograd. He published a lot, worked at the publishing house “World Literature”, gave lectures; in 1921 he headed the Petrograd branch of the Union of Poets, was the tutor of young poets at the studio “The Sounding Sink”. Poems of these years are collected in the collection of poems “The Fiery Pillar”, published in Berlin after his death (1921) with a circulation of 1000 copies.
August 3, 1921 was arrested on charges of participating in an anti-Soviet conspiracy. Later, in the 1950s, it became clear from the investigation materials that “… did not inform the bodies of Soviet power that he was offered to join a conspiratorial officer organization, which he categorically refused.” The exact date of the execution of Gumilev is not known; according to A. Akhmatova,