Konstantin Balmont

Poems by Konstantin Balmont

Balmont came from an aristocratic family of landowners and studied law at Moscow University. With his first book of poetry in 1890, he swiftly became one of the early creators of the Symbolist movement. In addition to this so-called decadent poetry he published rhetorical revolutionary verses and lived in political exile from 1905 to 1913, mostly in Paris. He was the idol of liberal audiences, especially of enthusiastic college girls.

Vladimir Mayakovsky, who once called Balmont and Igor Severyanin “treacle makers,” nonetheless defended Balmont, avowing that only a real poet could write the line “I came into this world to see the sun.” Balmont may have too often played the coquet with sound alone, but his poetry was the sole meaning of his life, and he left some brilliant, very musical verses.

Balmont embraced the February Revolution of 1917 but rejected the October Revolution as an act of violence. In 1923 he emigrated to France and died almost forgotten both by emigre circles and by his fellow Russians. His books of poetry were not published in the USSR from 1922 to 1969.

1894

1895

1897

1899

1902

1903

1905

1908

1912

1922

in german

Konstantin Balmont (deutsch)

1902