Sergei Yesenin, 1922
|Born||Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin
3 October 1895
Konstantinovo, Ryazan Oblast, Russian Empire
|Died||28 December 1925
Leningrad, Soviet Union
|Cause of death||Suicide|
Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin (sometimes spelled as Esenin; Russian: Серге́й Алекса́ндрович Есе́нин; IPA: [sʲɪrˈgʲej ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ jɪˈsʲenʲɪn]; 3 October [O.S. 21 September] 1895 – 28 December 1925) was a Russian lyrical poet. He was one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.
Early life 
Sergey Esenin was born in Konstantinovo in the Ryazan Province (Губерния, Gubernia) of the Russian Empire to a peasant family. He spent most of his childhood with his grandparents, who essentially reared him. He began to write poetry at the age of nine.
In 1912, Esenin moved to Moscow, where he supported himself working as a proofreader in a printing company. The following year he enrolled in Moscow Shanyavsky University as an external student and studied there for a year and a half. His early poetry was inspired by Russian folklore. In 1915, he moved to St. Petersburg, where he became acquainted with fellow-poets Alexander Blok, Sergey Gorodetsky, Nikolai Klyuev and Andrei Bely. It was in St. Petersburg that he became well known in literature circles. Blok was especially helpful in promoting Yesenin's early career as a poet. Yesenin said that Bely gave him the meaning of form while Blok and Klyuev taught him lyricism.
Life and career 
In 1916, Yesenin published his first book of poems, Radunitsa (Russian: Радуница). Through his collections of poignant poetry about love and the simple life, he became one of the most popular poets of the day. His first marriage was in 1913 to Anna Izryadnova, a co-worker from the publishing house, with whom he had a son, Yuri.
From 1916 to 1917, Yesenin was drafted into military duty, but soon after the October Revolution of 1917, Russia exited World War I. Believing that the revolution would bring a better life, Yesenin briefly supported it, but soon became disillusioned. He sometimes criticised the Bolshevik rule in such poems as The Stern October Has Deceived Me.
In August 1917 Yesenin married for a second time to Zinaida Raikh (later an actress and the wife of Vsevolod Meyerhold). They had two children, a daughter Tatyana and a son Konstantin. The parents quarreled and lived separately for some time prior to their divorce in 1921. Tatyana became a notable writer, and Konstantin Yesenin would become a well-known soccer statistician.
In September 1918, Yesenin founded his own publishing house called "Трудовая Артель Художников Слова" (the "Labor Company of the Artists of the Word"). Together with Anatoly Marienhof, they founded Russian literary movement of imaginism.
In the fall of 1921, while visiting the studio of painter Georgi Yakulov, Yesenin met the Paris-based American dancer Isadora Duncan, a woman 18 years his senior. She knew only a dozen words in Russian, and he spoke no foreign languages. They married on 2 May 1922. Yesenin accompanied his celebrity wife on a tour of Europe and the United States. His marriage to Duncan was brief and in May 1923, he returned to Moscow.
In 1923 Yesenin became romantically involved with the actress Augusta Miklashevskaya to whom he dedicated several poems. The same year he had a son by the poet Nadezhda Volpin. Their son, Alexander Esenin-Volpin grew up to become a poet and a prominent activist in the Soviet dissident movement of the 1960s. He lives in the United States, a famous mathematician and teacher.
In 1925 Yesenin met and married his fourth wife, Sophia Andreyevna Tolstaya, a granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy.
The last two years of Yesenin's life he created some of his most famous poems, but he also suffered from alcoholism, experienced a mental breakdown and was hospitalised for a month. Two days after his release, he cut his wrist, wrote a farewell poem in his own blood and hanged himself from the heating pipes on the ceiling of his room in the Hotel Angleterre. He was 30 years old.
Sergei Yesenin is interred in Moscow's Vagankovskoye Cemetery. His grave is marked by a white marble sculpture.
Cultural impact 
Although he was one of Russia's most popular poets and had been given an elaborate funeral by the State, most of his writings were banned by the Kremlin during the reigns of Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev. Nikolai Bukharin's criticism of Yesenin contributed significantly to the banning. Only in 1966 were most of his works republished. Today Yesenin's poems are taught to Russian schoolchildren; many have been set to music and recorded as popular songs. His early death, coupled with unsympathetic views by some of the literary elite, adoration by ordinary people, and sensational behavior, all contributed to the enduring and near mythical popular image of the Russian poet.
In popular culture 
In 2005 Russian studio Pro-Cinema Production produced a TV mini-series "Yesenin" about the life of the poet . The movie described the version of his death according to which he was murdered by NKVD agents who staged his suicide.
Multilanguage editions 
Anna Snegina (Yesenin's poem translated into 12 languages; translated into English by Peter Tempest) ISBN 978-5-7380-0336-3
- The Scarlet of the Dawn (1910)
- The high waters have licked (1910)
- The Birch Tree (1913)
- Autumn (1914)
- Russia (1914)
- I'll glance in the field (1917)
- I left the native home (1918)
- Hooligan (1919)
- Hooligan's Confession (1920) (Italian translation sung by Angelo Branduardi)
- I am the last poet of the village (1920)
- Prayer for the First Forty Days of the Dead (1920)
- I don't pity, don't call, don't cry (1921)
- Pugachev (1921)
- Land of Scoundrels (1923)
- One joy I have left (1923)
- A Letter to Mother (1924)
- Tavern Moscow (1924)
- Confessions of a Hooligan (1924),
- Desolate and Pale Moonlight (1925)
- The Black Man (1925)
- To Kachalov's Dog (1925)
- Goodbye, my friend, goodbye (1925) (His farewell poem)
|Original in Russian
До свиданья, друг мой, до свиданья.
Goodbye, my friend, goodbye
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sergei Yesenin|
Collection of Sergey Yesenin's Poems in English:
- Sergey Yesenin. Selected Poems in English with parallel Russian texts Alternative Bilingual (Russian-English) Version.
-  Yesenin poems in English @ vagalecs.narod.ru
- Yesenin Sergey. Sergey Yesenin. Collection of Poems. Bilingual Version (Russian-English) at zhurnal.lib.ru
- The Fugue Aesthetics of J.H. Stotts: Esenin, Footnotes for a Triptych at blogspot.com (Bio and English translation)
- http://samlib.ru/editors/w/wagapow_a_s/yesenin-bio.shtml Sergey Yesenin's Autobiography.(English translation)]
- Poetry (English translation)
- Biography, photos and poetry (Russian)
- Yesenin's poetry (Russian)
- Yesenin's museum in Viazma (Russian)
- Alexander Novikov sings songs based on Yesenin's poetry (10 songs in WMA format
- Translation of "The Birch" by Leo Yankevich
- The Black Man (the animation film on a poem) by Alexander Popugaev