Sergey Bezrukov, Andrey Ilin and Iulian Makarov
Russian 19th century author who often has been considered his country's greatest poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin blended Old Slavonic with vernacular Russian into a rich, melodic language. He was the first to use everyday speech in his poetry. Pushkin wrote some 800 lyrics with a dozen narrative poems.
"Love passed, the muse appeared, the weather
of mind got clarity newfound;
now free, I once more weave together
emotion, thought, and magic sound."
(from Eugene Onegin, 1823)
Aleksandr Pushkin was born in Moscow into a cultured but poor aristocratic family. On his father's side he was descended from an ancient noble family and on his mother's side he was a great-great-grandson of a black Abyssinian, Gannibal, who served under Peter the Great. Pushkin himself had black hair and swarthly complexion. Pushkin started to write poems from an early age. His first published poem was written when he was only 14.
In 1829 Pushkin fell in love with 16-year-old Natalya Nikolayevna Goncharova, whom he married two years later. Her family was as impoverished as Pushkin's, but she become a beauty of the Imperial court. The marriage was unhappy and Pushkin had little peace for intense creative activity. His wife was invited to every ball at the palace, and her frivolous social life led Pushkin into debt and eventually to his early death. The gossip of an affair between Baron Georges d'Anthès and his wife started to spread. An anonymous note informed Pushkin that he had been elected to "The Serene Order of Cuckolds". Although A'Anthès married Natalya's sister, the scandal was not quite over. Pushkin defended in a duel his wife's honor with her brother-in-law. D'Anthès fired first his pistol. Fatally wounded, Pushkin fired also his shot and his opponent got a slight wound. Pushkin died on February 10 (New Style), 1837. The Czar buried him in the monastery near Mikhailovskoye, in secret for fear of popular risings at the funeral. He also paid all the remaining debts of the poet. Natalya received a pension.. D'Anthès was expelled from Russia. He died in 1895.