The Stranger: Selected Poetry of Alexander Blok

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Out in the cold and dawning mist,. I wander, lost among the crowd,. Engrossed, with thoughts of only this: There is a song on every page that speaks of the ancient night. Of unfading passion and forgettable actions. Of ephemeral infatuation and haunting decisions.

My student reads an Alexander Blok poem at Kapustnik

Of forgiveness and hopeless evenings. The pale glow of a search for meaning. The opportunities we might have lost. A fear that lingers. The people on the streets we ignored today.

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The Stranger: Selected Poetry by Alexander Blok

The inspiration to which we have relinquished. The memories we cherish, that overwhelm us; the ones we wish we had.


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Words that soothe and harm. Silence that warms and forgets. Strangers waiting at restaurants while the setting sun burns the sky. The thoughts we choose not to share as time, devoid of any emotion, denies a second chance. The things that were never meant to be owned but we are reluctant to let go. The loss of the nonexistent. I decided to read some of Blok's work because he is a very influential figure in Russian literature and the influence of his work permeates the novel "Dr. Zhivago," whose movie adaptation I adore and therefore a novel I hope to conquer.

These selected works are Though I am devoted to poetry, it's always hard for me to write a review on a book of poetry, especially when that poetry was originally written in a language I do not know--therefore, take my review with a grain of American iodized salt.


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  • These selected works are arranged in chronological order and the gradual maturation of his work is evident because of this structure, with the earlier poems more focused on structure than substance and the latter poems growing increasingly serious and political. Blok's strength is in his imagery with many of his poems beginning with an observation of a seemingly mundane event, such as a young choir girl singing, and expanding into the insecurities of the human condition. This is an excellent introduction to this poet and I highly recommend it for both poetry lovers and poetry novies.

    The Stranger: Selected Poetry

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    Some of his relatives were men of letters, his father being a law professor in Warsaw, and his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg State University. After his parents' separation, Blok lived with aristocratic relatives at the Shakhmatovo manor near Moscow, where Blok Russian: After his parents' separation, Blok lived with aristocratic relatives at the Shakhmatovo manor near Moscow, where he discovered the philosophy of Vladimir Solovyov, and the verse of then-obscure 19th-century poets, Fyodor Tyutchev and Afanasy Fet. These influences would be fused and transformed into the harmonies of his early pieces, later collected in the book Ante Lucem.

    He fell in love with Lyubov Lyuba Dmitrievna Mendeleeva daughter of the renowned chemist Dmitri Mendeleev and married her in Later, she would involve him in a complicated love-hate relationship with his fellow Symbolist Andrey Bely. In it, he transformed his humble wife into a vision of the feminine soul and eternal womanhood The Greek Sophia of Solovyov's teaching.

    Blok's few relatives currently live in Moscow, Riga, Rome and England. During the last period of his life, Blok concentrated primarily on political themes, pondering the messianic destiny of his country Vozmezdie, ; Rodina, ; Skify, Influenced by Solovyov's doctrines, he was full of vague apocalyptic apprehensions and often vacillated between hope and despair. Quite unexpectedly for most of his admirers, he accepted the October Revolution as the final resolution of these apocalyptic yearnings.

    By Blok had become disillusioned with the Russian Revolution. He did not write any poetry for three years. Blok complained to Maksim Gorky that he had given up his "faith in the wisdom of humanity". He explained to his friend Korney Chukovsky why he could not write poetry any more: Can't you hear that there are no longer any sounds? Within a few days Blok became sick. His doctors requested him to be sent for medical treatment abroad, but he was not allowed to leave the country.

    Gorky pleaded for a visa.

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    On 29 May , he wrote to Anatoly Lunacharsky: If you forbid him to go abroad, and he dies, you and your comrades will be guilty of his death". Blok received permission only on 10 August, after his death. Those drunken brutes are right: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Comment Name Email Website. Help keep us going! We use cookies for analytics, advertising and to improve our site.

    You agree to our use of cookies by closing this message box or continuing to use our site. The Stranger In the evenings, the sultry air above the restaurants is both wild and torpid, and drunken vociferations are governed by the evil spirit of spring.