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Sergei Mitrofanovich Gorodetskii

poet

Sergei Gorodetskii, USSR Poet.

Background

Gorodetskii, Sergei was born on January 18, 1884 in Petersburg.

Education

Educated at Petersburg and Orel High Schools. Studied at Petersburg University.

Career

Constant visitor to all the Petersburg literary salons before the revolution. Scored a great success with his very first volume of poetry, Iar, 1906, with its neo-heathen Slavonic stylizations. Joined N. Gumilev in creating the Acmeist group, and the Tsekh Poetov where he acted as a leader (one of two syndics).

Through his interest in folklore, became the link between the capital and the emerging peasant poets such as Kliuev and Esenin. During WW1, served as a correspondent at the Caucasian front, writing about the Armenian massacre, and about Persia. During the Civil War remained in Tiflis, and was an active member of the modernist poetic circles.

Returned to Moscow, 1921. His life thereafter was one constant negation of all the promise of his youth. Became a model Stalinist poet and careerist, not averse to denouncing his former friends.

Wrote libretti for Stalinist operas (Proryv, Prometei. Dumy pro Opanasa). Wrote a completely new libretto for Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar, renamed Ivan Susanin. During World War II, evacuated to Tashkent.

After the war, returned to Moscow. Remained a member of the official Soviet literary establishment till his death.