Klyuev Nikolai Alekseevich (1884 – 1937), the poet. He was born on October 10 in one of the remote villages of the Russian North (Olonets province) in a peasant family closely associated with the Old Believer traditions, which had a great influence on the character and work of the future poet. From his mother, Praskovia Dmitrievna, inherited a love of folk art – to songs, spiritual verses, stories, legends. She taught him to read and write. In 1893 – 95 he studied at the parochial school, then in a two-year city school, after which he studied in Petrozavodsk medical school for a year. He left by sickness. Klyuyev’s wanderings through the Old Believer sketes and monasteries begin.
In the early 1900’s began to write poetry: in 1904 in the St. Petersburg almanac “New Poets” appeared his poems (“Do not come true rainbow dreams…”, “Widespread immense field…”, etc.); in 1905 – in the collections of “Waves” and “Surf”.
In 1905-07 he took an active part in the revolutionary movement of the peasants, and in 1906 he was imprisoned for six months, after which he was placed under the secret surveillance of the police.
By 1907 the beginning of Kliuyev’s correspondence with A. Blok was of great importance for both of them (37 letters of Kliuev to the Bloc were preserved). Blok used these letters in his articles, regarding them as “a document of great importance – about contemporary Russia – the people’s, of course” (“The words of his letter seem to me golden words”). With the assistance of A. Blok, N. Klyuev’s poems are published in the magazines “Golden Fleece”, “New Earth”, etc. In 1912 two poetic books by Klyuyev – “Pines of Sines” (with the introduction of V. Bryusov) and “Brotherly Songs” were published. Before the revolution, there were two more collections – “The Forest was” (1913) and “Worldly: we” (1916). Not only the block and the brusovs noticed this distinctive, great poet, but also Gumilev, Akhmatova, Gorodetsky, Mandelstam, and others. In 1915 Klyuyev met S. Yesenin,
Kliuyev warmly welcomed the October Revolution, perceiving it as a fulfillment of the secular aspirations of the peasantry. During these years he worked hard and inspiringly. In 1919 the collection “Copper
Kit” was published, which included such revolutionary poems as “Red Song” (1917), “From the Cellars, from the Dark Corners…” deep in the people. “A
crucial article in the fate of Klyuev was played by a critical article about him L. Trotsky (1922), who appeared in the central press. The stamp of the “kulak poet” accompanies him for a whole decade, the poet is in dire need, he turns to the Union of Poets with requests for help, writes M. Gorky: “… Poverty, wandering on other people’s dinners destroys me as an artist. “Continues to work, creates a few very significant s works: “Lament of Sergei Yesenin” and the poem “
Since 1931 Klyuyev lives in Moscow, but the path to literature for him is closed: everything he writes is rejected by the editors.
In 1934 he was arrested and deported from Moscow for a period of five years to the city of Kolpashevo in the Narym region. “I am exiled for the poem” Pogorelschina “, there is nothing else for me,” he wrote from exile.
By the middle of 1934 Klyuev was transferred to Tomsk. Painfully experiencing his forced break from literature, he wrote: “I do not feel sorry for myself as a public figure, but I’m sorry for my songs-bees, sweet, sunny and golden.” They sting my heart. “
June 5, 1937 Klyuev was arrested in Tomsk for “counter-revolutionary insurgency” (the Siberian NKVD fabricated the case of the “Union of Salvation of Russia”, which was preparing an alleged uprising against Soviet power, in which the role of one of the leaders was attributed to Klyuev). In October 1937 in Tomsk N. Klyuev was shot. Posthumously rehabilitated.
A short biography from the book: Russian writers and poets. A short biographical dictionary. Moscow, 2000.