Klychkov (real name – Leshenkov) Sergei Antonovich (1889 – 1940), poet, prose writer.
Born July 1 (13 N. p.) In the village of Dubrovka, Tver province in the family of a shoemaker. He studied at a rural school, then he “wrote poems”. Later he took a course in Moscow in the school of II Fidler. In 1906 – 08 begins to publish his poems (“The Man rose,” “Whirlwind”, “Hymn to Freedom” were published in the almanac “At the Crossroads” in 1906.
In 1908 he entered the History and Philology Department of Moscow University, studied with S. Soloviev, which had a definite influence on Klychkova. In the same year he was in Italy, where he met M. Gorky and A. Lunacharsky.
In 1911, in Moscow, the first collection of poems Klychkov’s “Songs” was a great success for readers, critics, and most importantly, the masters of the poetry shop. About the poetry Klychkov wrote N. Gumilev, V. Bryusov, M. Voloshin. In one of his letters of this time there are such words: “I know now that I have a talent… Only in this for me is the salt and the significance of my dissolute life!”
In 1913 the second collection “The Secret Garden” was published, met as enthusiastically as the first. Then he met with S’.Esenin, friendship with whom continued for many years. Later they co-wrote several works – “Cantata”, screenplay “Calling Dawns”, etc.
The First World War changes the life of Klychkov. He is drafted into the army, serves in the Baltic,...then at the school of ensigns in Finland. During the civil war, the poet was twice sentenced to be shot: once by the Makhnovists, once by whites. By chance, Klychkov remained alive.
The revolution was met with delight (“How not to sing and not to pray…”). In 1918 there was a poetry collection “Dubravna”, in 1919 – “The Ring of Lada”, in 1923 – “The Guest is wonderful.” All these and subsequent collections of poems speak of the fruitfulness of the chosen folklore and romantic direction.
In the 1920s, the novels The Sugar German (1925) turned to prose; “Chertukhin Balakir” (1926); “The Last Lel” (1927); “The Gray Sage” (1927); “Prince of Peace” (1928);
After the death of S. Esenin, the campaign of attacks on peasant poets became more active, and Klychkova did not pass away either. His article in defense of poetry “peasant merchant” (“On the hare, lighting matches”), he brought upon himself the particular indignation of the fighters against “kulak literature.” In 1930 his last book of poems “Visiting Cranes” came out, maliciously met with criticism.
Klychkov was forced to do translations. In the 1930s his epic works of the peoples of the USSR were published. The collection of selected translations Klychkova “Saraspan” included Mari folk songs, works by G. Leonidze, V. Pshavela, A. Tsereteli, etc.
In July 1937 Klychkov was arrested and soon (in October of the same year) was shot. Posthumously rehabilitated.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.