Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Frenzied Poets: Andrey Biely and the Russian Symbolists

That's the title of a book I would like to read. Published in 1952 (my birth year!) by the University of California Press. Wherever a copy of this book is I have no idea.

As a Symbolist, Andrei Bely emphasized the spiritual and mystical elements in art. He believed it's possible to acquire knowledge of the "world beyond" through the contemplation of artistic "symbols." In the essay 'The Magic of Words' (1909) Bely stated that the word is a magical, world-creating force. 

Here's some info on Andrei Bely (1889 - 1934) from Wikipedia: 

Andrei Bely -- Wiki

Here's one of his poems --

In the Mountains 

The mountains wear wedding wreaths.
I am ecstatic, young.
In my mountains I feel
A cleansing chill.

A gray-haired hunchback climbs
Up to me on my cliff,
Bringing a gift of pineapples
From nurseries underground.

He dances in bright scarlet,
Singing praises to azure,
Kicking up with his beard
A whirlwind of snow-silver storms.

He sings out
In a deep bass:
Flings a pineapple
To the heavens.

And describing an arc,
Lighting up the landscape,
The pineapple descends, shining,
Into obscurity,

Casting off golden dew
In gilded columns,
And below, people say:
'It's the disc of the flameblazing sun…'

Golden fountains of fire
Rush down, ringing,
Washing over the cliffs
Like crimson drops
Of crystal.

I decanted wine into goblets:
And, creeping up alongside him,
I poured it over the hunchback
In a foamshining stream. 

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