Sergei Esenin Additional Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Sergei Esenin (yih-SYAY-nyihn) was born into a peasant family in the village of Konstantinovo—since his death officially renamed Esenino—in Ryazan province, Russia. When he was two years old his father moved to Moscow, and the boy was brought up by his grandparents. At the age of nine he began to write poems. He attended the village elementary school until the age of twelve, when he was sent to a teachers’ college. There he read Alexander Pushkin for the first time and decided that the life of a teacher was not for him.{$S[A]Yesenin, Sergei;Esenin, Sergei}

In the spring of 1912 he went to Moscow and at first lived with his father. Soon, however, he became involved with the Surikov Circle, a collection of working-class and peasant writers. He found work at a printing press and registered at the Shanyovsky People’s University, where he attended a miscellany of lectures. During this time he was writing a great deal, but although he sent many of his poems to St. Petersburg magazines, none was accepted for publication. In 1914 he decided to go to St. Petersburg, and there he met Nikolai Klyuyev and Aleksandr Blok, both of whom greatly influenced his work.

With Klyuyev’s help Esenin’s first collection of poems, Radunitsa, was published in 1915. The work was an immediate success. Shortly afterward, however, Esenin was drafted into the army and in 1917 was sent to the front. The contemporaneous advent of the revolution surprised...

(The entire section is 515 words.)