Mikhail Lermontov, born the 15th of October 1814, is to be celebrated today, on World Poetry Day, with readings of his very romantic and popular poems.
This is in honour of his 200th anniversary, and the famous poet will have his prose read by famous local artists, actors and writers in an open mic session. Museums, libraries, theatres and coffee shops are also taking part, playing recordings of his poems performed by actors from Soviet times.
If you’ve never heard of Lermontov, you really should check out his work and also find out a bit about his life, as he was a particularly romantic and exceptional character!
Lermontov had a huge influence on Russian literature and started showing off his poetic skills from a young age. Despite being very romantic and poetic, he was quite cruel with his humour, and was incredibly witty, also showing a talent for drawing caricatures! Not only was he artistically gifted but also proved to be a brilliant student, studying hard at Moscow University.
His poetry reflects his personal life, and poems such as The Terrible Fate of Father and Son depict his father’s sudden death. Lermontov was also exiled twice, but was able to return to Moscow where he later died in a duel.
You really should google Mikhail Lermontov, as he had a very interesting life and you won’t believe some of the things he got up to! Despite his controversial life and personal character, he’s still considered the second most influential poet after Pushkin.
Celebrations in the poet’s honour will continue throughout the year here in St Petersburg, with a special concert performance of his play Masquerade in Alexander Garden on the 14th of July. Alexander Theatre will also premiere their version of Masquerade in September. There’s also to be an exhibition in July at Pushkin House, showing the largest collection of Lermontov’s personal items.