Yesenin Sergei 1895 - 1925 (30)

Whom shall I call on? Who will share with me The wretched happiness of staying alive?


Collected poems

Farewell poem

Goodbye, my friend, goodbye.
My dear, you are in my heart.
Predestined separation
Promises a future meeting.
Goodbye, my friend, without handshake and words,
Do not grieve and sadden your brow,-
In this life there’s nothing new in dying,
But nor, of course, is living any newer.

Sergei Yesenin (October 3, 1895 - December 28, 1925) was one of the most popular Russian poets of the 20th century. A son of poor villagers, he was born in Central Russia, in the village of Konstantinovo and spent his childhood at his grandparents' home as his parents left him there to go to work in the city. He grew up with 3 adult uncles who were particularly hard with him, as he described in his autobiography. From a young age he found a way out in poetry, he wrote his first poem at the age of 9. He studied for a year history of literature but was forced to stop due to financial problems and got a job as a proofreader in a publishing company. In 1915 he went to St. Petersbourg for two years and returned to Moscow in 1917.

He sympathized the socialist revolutionaries and enthusiastically welcomed the October 1917 Revolution, but he was quickly disappointed and in the years to come he would criticize the Bolshevik Government with poems and articles. In 1918 he had a son with his second wife, whom he soon abandoned for another woman. In his short life, Yesenin had 6 or 8 weddings and 4 children; many scholars claim that he also maintained relationships with men. He wrote poems with great appeal to the Russian people and at the same time he caused endlessly scandals. Frequent drunkenness, catastrophes in hotel rooms, episodes in restaurants and episodic separations took a great publicity in the press.

One of his wives was the 18-year-older than him, American dancer Isidora Duncan, during his stay with her in Paris, he suffered a serious crisis and was admitted to the psychiatric hospital. In May 1923 he returned to his homeland, where he married, for the last time, with the granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy. And this marriage lasted a few months only. Yesenin was increasingly sinking into depression and alcoholism, but this period is also extremely creative, he wrote some of his most important poems. In 1925 he was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital and two days after his discharge, on December 27, 1925, he cut his veins with a knife and wrote a farewell poem with his blood. They managed to save him but the following day he succeeded to die when he hang himself from the central heating pipes with his suitcase strap.