Literary Trends of Acmeism

Literary Trends of Acmeism

The name of the literary modernist trend in Russian poetry of the beginning of the 20th century comes from the Greek word “akme”, translated into Russian meaning flourishing, the peak or the top of something (according to other versions the term comes from the Greek roots of the pseudonym Akhmatova “akmatus”).

This literary school was created in opposition to symbolism, as a response to its extremes and excesses. The acmeists advocated the return to the poetic word of clarity and materiality and for refusing to let the mysterious fog of mysticism flow in describing reality (as was customary in symbolism). The adherents of acmeism advocated the accuracy of the word, the objectivity of themes and images, the acceptance of the surrounding world in all its diversity,

color, sonority and tangible concreteness.

The founders of acmeism are such Russian poets of the Silver Age of Russian poetry as Nikolai Gumilev, Anna Akhmatova and Sergei Gorodetsky, later O. Mandelstam, V. Narbut, M. Zenkevich joined them.

In 1912, they founded their own school of professional skill “The Poets’ Workshop”, in 1913, Gumilev’s articles “The Legacy of Symbolism and Acmeism” and S. Gorodetsky “Some Flows in Contemporary Russian Poetry” appear in the Apollo magazine, in which the term ” acmeism “, its main features are described. In these articles, which are a kind of program for the movement of the Acmeists, his main humanistic plan was proclaimed-the revival of people’s new thirst for life, the return of a sense of its brilliance and brightness. The first works of Acmeist poets were published in the third issue of the journal Apollo (1913) after the publication of articles-manifestos. Throughout 1923-1919. his own magazine of acmeists “Hyperborei”

Unlike symbolism, which, according to many literary researchers, has undeniable similarities with musical art (like music, it is also mysterious, meaningful, can have a large number of interpretations), the creation of acmeism is closer to such spatial three-dimensional trends

in art as architecture, sculpture or painting.

Poetry poets Acmeists differ not only in amazing beauty, but also in precision, folding, an extremely simple meaning, understandable to any reader. The words used in the writings of the Acmeists are designed to convey exactly the meaning that they originally laid down, there are no various exaggeration or comparisons, and metaphors and hyperboles are practically not used. Acmeists were alien to aggressiveness, political and social topics were not of interest to them, great importance was attached to the highest human values, the spiritual world of man was placed on the first place. Their poems are very easy to understand, auditory perception and memorization, because complex things in their talented description become simple and understandable for each of us.

Representatives of this literary movement were united not only by a single enthusiasm for the new school of poetry, in life they were also friends and like-minded people, their organization was distinguished by great unity and unity of views, although they lacked a certain literary platform and standards that they could rely on when writing their works. The poems of each of them, differing in structure, character, mood and other creative features, were extremely concrete, accessible to the readers’ understanding, as the school of acmeism demanded, and did not cause additional questions after their reading.

Despite the friendship and cohesion between poets-acmeists, the limited scope of this literary direction for such brilliant poets as Gumilev, Akhmatova or Mandelstam, soon became close. After the breakdown of Gumilev with Gorodetsky in February 1914, the school of professional skill “The Poets’ Workshop” after two years of its existence, the 10 issues of the Hyperborei magazine and several poetry collections broke up. Although the poets of this organization did not cease to refer to this literary trend and published in literary magazines and newspapers, in which publishers called them acmeists. The young poets Georgi Ivanov, Georgy Adamovich, Nikolai Otsup, Irina Odoevtseva called themselves the followers of Gumilev’s ideas.

A unique feature of such a literary trend as acmeism is that it originated and was developed exclusively on the territory of Russia, having had a huge impact on the further development of Russian poetry of the early twentieth century. The literary researchers call invaluable merit of acmeist poets the invention of a special, subtle way of transferring the spiritual world of lyrical characters, which can be betrayed with the help of a single movement, gesture, the enumeration of some things or important trifles that cause the readers to imagine many associations. This ingeniously simple, original “materialization” of the feelings and experiences of the main lyric hero has a tremendous impact force and becomes understandable and accessible to every reader.


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Literary Trends of Acmeism