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Blok

Blok

[blok; Russ. blawk]
Blok, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, 1880-1921, Russian poet, considered the greatest of the Russian symbolists. As the leading disciple of Vladimir Soloviev, he voiced both mysticism and idealistic passion in an early cycle of love poems, Verses about the Lady Beautiful (1904). In 1905 he lost his ethereal vision and turned to themes of despair, degradation, and the attraction of evil. The Unknown Woman (1906) is his best-known poem of this period. Later he found hope in the idealization of Russia, welcoming the Revolution of 1917 in his epic poem The Twelve (1918, tr. 1920). This work celebrates the passion, violence, and exhilaration of the revolution, with which Blok later became disenchanted. The Scythians (1920) is directed against the Western forces fighting the Bolsheviks.

See his selected poems, ed. by A. Pyman (1972); his account of his journey to Italy, ed. by L. E. Vogel (1973); studies by F. D. Reeve (1962) and R. Kemball (1965).

(born Nov. 28, 1880, St. Petersburg, Russia—died Aug. 7, 1921, Petrograd [St. Petersburg]) Russian poet and dramatist. He was the principal representative of Russian Symbolism (see Symbolist movement). He later rejected what he termed their sterile bourgeois intellectualism and embraced the Bolshevik movement as essential for the redemption of the Russian people. Influenced by early 19th-century Romantic poetry, he wrote musical verse in which sound was paramount. His preeminent work of impressionistic verse was the enigmatic ballad The Twelve (1918), which united the Russian Revolution and Christianity in an apocalyptic vision. In the era of postrevolutionary hardship he declined into mental and physical illness, possibly brought on by venereal disease, and died at 40.

Learn more about Blok, Aleksandr (Aleksandrovich) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Nov. 28, 1880, St. Petersburg, Russia—died Aug. 7, 1921, Petrograd [St. Petersburg]) Russian poet and dramatist. He was the principal representative of Russian Symbolism (see Symbolist movement). He later rejected what he termed their sterile bourgeois intellectualism and embraced the Bolshevik movement as essential for the redemption of the Russian people. Influenced by early 19th-century Romantic poetry, he wrote musical verse in which sound was paramount. His preeminent work of impressionistic verse was the enigmatic ballad The Twelve (1918), which united the Russian Revolution and Christianity in an apocalyptic vision. In the era of postrevolutionary hardship he declined into mental and physical illness, possibly brought on by venereal disease, and died at 40.

Learn more about Blok, Aleksandr (Aleksandrovich) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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