Folklore motifs in Lermontov’s creative work occupy a special niche, although they are not often spoken about. However, in his main poem dedicated to the Russian Federation, Lermontov most “dear heart” calls just the people’s Russia, with its uneasy, harsh, but truly Russian way of life.
To the old times and people’s rites Lermontov had a special attitude. Suffice it to say that he was brought up in the village, at his grandmother, and since then he has always loved nature, managed to discern the beauty of simple peasant life. Later, having already sunk into secular life, in solving the paramount and urgent issues of society, Lermontov often caught himself thinking:
And if somehow for a moment I’m able to
Forget-Memory to the recent
And I see myself as a child;
And around Native all the places: a great lordly dwelling
And a garden with a ruined greenhouse.
Greatness, wisdom and purity of antiquity the writer wanted to preserve in the present and bring to the future. Sometimes an artist yearns and regrets the past greatness of the Russian people, somewhat lost in modern society. Let us recall Lermontov’s famous poem “Borodino”, where he compares his ancestors with the heroes, singing out their physical and spiritual strength.
Lermontov did not single out individual cycles, folklore motifs somehow imperceptibly pour in and sound throughout his work. Here are a few surprising melodic titles of his works, which speak for themselves – “Ballade”, “Russian song”, “Russian melody”, “Cossack lullaby”, “Jewish melody”, “Greetings, warlike Slavs”, “Three palm trees “(the eastern legend), etc.
Folk legends and legends accompany the person from birth to imbue him with spiritual and natural beauty. The inexplicable mystery of antiquity still excites his fantasies and inspires in creativity or in life. In his poem “The Wife of the North” Lermontov used exactly the same plot.
Between the rocks of the midnight country,
It was often
In a year of magical antiquity,
And Finn’s wild sons built her temple.
All travelers and simply curious inhabitants, who aspired at least one look to look at this mysterious deity, were dying. And only the skalds remained unscathed:
They paid a song
For the fiery delight of an hour.
Arguing about the mythological images in the artist’s work, you need to make a reservation. As is clear, Lermontov has several poems with very characteristic names, such as, for example, “My demon”, “Angel”, larger works – poems “Demon”, “Angel of Death”. But their subjects do not go back to folklore motives, but rather to biblical legends and personify the author not the people’s symbols or images, but the world ones.
However, Lermontov also has pagan folk images – witches, mermaids, giants – these are otherworldly sipy who do not have enormous power over man, but only experience, tempt him, but, sometimes, and help.
Lermontov often turned to those folklore images that never erase in the memory of people, but remain vital, alive and relevant to human consciousness at all times – faithful and noble love (the poem “Forget-me-not”), respect for their ancestors (“Desire” ), Nature, original national characters, the history of the people.
Lermontov has a self-portrait in the poem “Russian Melody”. In it, the author draws his own image – a singer, but not with the familiar lyre, and other native and close singer instrument.