The period from the 1890s to the October Revolution of 1917 in Russian literature is usually called the Silver Age. It is known that the beginning of the 19th century, when worked A. S. Pushkin, M. Yu. Lermontov, and other poets included in the classics of world literature, it is considered the Golden Age of Russian poetry. The poetry of the beginning of the 20th century is the Silver Age.
Why so? Gumilev, Akhmatova, Bryusov, Balmont, Annensky… Their creativity, their artistic discoveries, mean less for literature? Their achievements are less significant than the achievements of the great poets of the 19th century? I think that this is completely wrong.
One of the literary trends of the Silver Age, which gave the world many talented names, is acmeism. His theoretician
NS Gumilev was born in Kronstadt on April 3 (15), 1886, in the family of a sea doctor. His childhood was spent in Tsarskoe Selo, where he studied at the Tsarskoye Selo grammar school. In 1903 Gumilev met with the future poetess Anna Akhmatova. A little later, in 1905, St. Petersburg published the first collection of his poems “The Way of the Conquistadors.” Then the poet leaves for Paris, where he spends about three years. Abroad, he published the magazine “Sirius” and published a collection of poems “Romantic Flowers” (1908).
Upon his return to Russia Gumilev enrolled at St. Petersburg University, actively collaborated in newspapers and magazines, founded the “Academy of the verse” for young poets. In 1909 – 1913 years. he made three trips to Africa, in 1910 he married AA Gorenko. In 1912 Gumilev published his most “acmeistical”
With the outbreak of the First World War, the poet volunteered for the Ulan regiment, for his participation
In 1916 a new collection of poems “The Quiver” was published. Gumilev at this time was abroad as part of the expeditionary corps. There he found the events of 1917 and returned to St. Petersburg only in 1918. In the last three years of the poet’s life actively engaged in creative, organizational and teaching work, has published a collection of poems “Fire”, “Porcelain Pavilion”, “Tent”, “Pillar of Fire “.
August 3, 1921 Gumilev was arrested on charges of participating in a counter-revolutionary conspiracy, and on August 25, 1921 – shot.
The lyrical hero Gumilev, like all his early works, is especially energetic. For this hero there is no gap between reality and dream: he claims the priority of daring dreams, free fantasy.
The poem “Captains” is one of the most characteristic poems of a young poet. It became for readers Gumilev’s visiting card. In the foreground here is the image of captains, the presentation of the poet about the ideal of modern man. This man finds himself in the romantic of wandering. He is attracted by unknown horizons, he strives away from home comfort and gray everyday life.
The hero of Gumilev came to this world not a dreamer contemplative, but the creator of life. It is valuable for him in moments of persecution, struggle, overcoming:
Let the sea be lunatic and lash, The
crests of the waves rise to the heavens,
No one before the storm does not tremble,
No one will turn sails.
In addition, Gumilyov’s early work is distinguished by an abundance of romantic-fantasy motifs (“Song of the singer and the king”, “Five powerful horses gave me Lucifer…” and so on). Here the motives borrowed from the medieval epic and Western European literature (troll, solitary king, Lucifer) are clearly manifested. In these poems, romantic ambiguity is also vividly manifested, and an image of a romantic hero with an unhappy fate is created:
“And laughing at me, scorning me,
My eyes clothed Lucifer in the half-darkness,
Lucifer gave me the sixth horse
and Despair was named to him.”
Often in the poems of Gumilev there is an image of a romantic country, beautiful and unusual (“Giraffe”). It is clearly opposed to a dull routine,
I know the funny tales of mysterious countries
About the black virgin, about the passion of the young leader,
But you’ve inhaled a heavy fog for too long,
You do not want to believe in anything except the rain.
Later, the poet’s work differs sharply from his first collections. Instead of a romantic life affirmation – the intonation of mournful dissent, instead of a bright exotic – signs of “accursed backwoods.” The life of the soul and the anxieties of consciousness form the basis of Gumilyov’s later poems.
Even the headlines of the late Gumilyov are much more diverse than before. In addition to geographical or zoological exotics (“Hyena”, “Jaguar”, “Giraffe”, “Lake Chad”, etc.) and the naming of heroes of poems (“Don Juan”, “Captains”, etc.) more often uses the notation of feelings, emotional states, higher values (Memory, Word, Soul and Body, Sixth Sense, Lost Tram, Starry Horror).
The main motif of the poem “The Second Chancellor” from the collection “The Pillar of Fire” is a feeling of a tragic, insoluble dvoymiriya. Mature Gumilev conducts the idea of life of another, full of meaning and beauty, unlike the real world – the world of a “rotting pond” and dusty roads.
In the world of reality, there is no real miracle and true beauty – this is the meaning of this poem and all the late works of the poet (“the unicorn / the White Seraphim will not lead us”).
The name of N. Gumilev is one of the brightest and most significant not only in the poetry of the Silver Age, but also in the history of Russian literature. This artist enriched world literature not only with his original works, not only with his artistic discoveries, but also with the fact that he became the founder of a whole literary trend that gave the world such great names as A. Akhmatova, O. Mandelstam, I. Annensky.. .