Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Irena Trofimova

Second Reader

Dr. Jay Curlin

Third Reader

Dr. Johnny Wink


Alexander Blok was one of the poets of a movement that would come to be known as the "Silver Age of Russian Poetry" and thus an avid Symbolist, in fact the leading Symbolist poet at this time. The poets in this movement, while maintaining in many places the strict rhyme of the earlier so called "Golden Age," began to deviate from the strict meter of that time. These poets are products of their time, the earlier 20th Century, and were heavily influenced by those they found around them.

"This Frightful World" was begun in 1909, a mere four years after many Russians lost hope not only in the Emperor and the current State but also in the Church....

This was the world in which Blok, an avid revolutionist in the beginning, lived and wrote. However, Blok himself was the son of a well-off family, his grandfather the head of the University of Moscow. Up to the late half of the first decade of the 20th century, Blok had literally only been writing about his almost religious devotion towards his wife. The tone of Blok's poetry begins to change after 1905; his love is still his main focus, but it is only superficial and is there to stress the more major dialogue of the war and political changes. The poetry collection ends in 1916, the year when Blok is drafted into the military.

Also while reading this, it is important to realize that Blok so idolized his lovely wife that he extremely limited his own sexual relations with her and instead had extramarital relations. He did this because he wanted to maintain her purity so that she wouldn't fall in his eyes. So in a poem such as "A Song of Hell," his guilt over sleeping with his own wife is actually real. He considered it a sin.



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