Alexander Blok – Russian poet
Alexander Blok was one of the greatest Russian poets, leading figure in the Russian symbolist movement.
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was born on November 28, 1880 in St. Petersburg. His father was a professor of law and a talented musician, and his mother was a writer and translator. In 1889 he entered the Vvedensky Gymnasium. In 1897, he and his mother traveled abroad. In the German spa town Alexander fell in love with Ksenia Sadovskaya. She became his first love and that love left a deep trace in his work.
Alexander spent summers at Shakhmatovo, country home near Moscow. Famous Russian chemist D. I. Mendeleev was his neighbor.
In 1903 Blok married Mendeleev’s daughter. In the same year some of his poems were published in D. S. Merezhkovski’s magazine. Blok wrote verse from his early childhood.
In 1904, Blok published Verses on a Beautiful Lady inspired by relationship with Lyubov Mendeleyeva.
In 1906, he graduated from the philological faculty of St. Petersburg University.
In 1909, Blok’s father and his child died. It was very hard for Blok and he and his wife went abroad to Germany and Italy. This trip inspired Blok’s exquisite cycle Italian Poems.
In the summer of 1911 Blok went abroad again, that time to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
During World War I Blok served as a clerk with a forward engineers’ company. His poem The Twelve (1918) about 12 Red Guardsmen on city patrol synthesizes Christian values and reformist principles.
Blok died from a mysterious disease on August 7, 1921 in Petrograd. He was 41 years old. The poet was buried at the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery. In 1944, his remains were reburied at Volkovsky cemetery.