Konstantin Balmont

Konstantin Balmont is a Russian symbolist poet, essayist, novelist and translator. He is one of the brightest representatives of Russian poetry of the Silver Age. In 1923 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature.

In the biography of Balmont many interesting facts, because he began to write poetry with the king, the flowering of his work fell on the revolutionary years, and he ended his life in the midst of Stalin's rule.

So before you Balmont's short biography.

Balmont Biography

Konstantin Dmitrievich Balmont was born on June 3, 1867 in the village of Gumnischy, in the Vladimir province. He grew up in a simple village family.

His father, Dmitry Konstantinovich, was first a judge, and then served as head of the Zemstvo Council.

Mother, Vera Nikolaevna, was from an intelligent family, in which much attention was paid to literature. In this regard, she repeatedly organized creative evenings and staged plays at home.

Childhood and youth

Mother had a serious influence on the formation of Balmont's personality and played a large role in his biography. Thanks to his mother, the boy was well acquainted not only with literature, but also with music, history and literature.

Konstantin Balmont in childhood

In addition to Constantine, six more boys were born in the Balmonts family. An interesting fact is that Constantine learned to read by watching his mother teach his older brothers to read.

Initially, Balmonts lived in the village, but when it came time to send their children to school, they decided to move to Shuya. In this period of biography, Constantine first became interested in poetry.

When Balmont turned 10, he showed his mother his poems. After reading them, Vera Nikolaevna insisted that he stop writing poetry. The boy obeyed her and did not compose anything for the next six years.

In 1876, the first significant event took place in Balmont’s biography. He was enrolled in a Russian gymnasium, where he showed himself as a talented and obedient student. However, soon he was tired of adhering to discipline and obeying teachers in everything.

With particular zeal, Konstantin became interested in reading literature, reading the works of not only Russians, but also foreign authors. Interestingly, the books of the French and German classics he read in the original.

Later, the negligent student was expelled from the gymnasium for low academic performance and revolutionary moods.

In 1886, Konstantin Balmont went to Vladimir. There he enrolled in a local gymnasium. It is interesting that at this time in one of the capital editions his poems were first published.

After graduating from high school, Balmont entered the Moscow University law faculty. There he became friends with the revolutionaries of the sixties. He listened with great interest to his comrades and imbued with revolutionary ideas.

Studying in the second year, Balmont took part in student riots. As a result, he was expelled from the university and sent back to Shuya.

Later Konstantin Balmont more than once entered higher education institutions, but due to nervous breakdown he could not graduate from any institution. Thus, the young man was left without higher education.

Balmont's art

Balmont published the first collection in his creative biography in 1890. But later, for some reason, he personally destroyed most of the circulation.

In 1894 Konstantin Dmitrievich published the collection Under the Northern Sky, in which there were elegies, sonatas and stanzas. This book brought him a certain popularity.

Feeling self-confident, he continued to engage in writing.

In the years of biography 1895-1898. Balmont published 2 more collections - "In the vastness of darkness" and "Silence."

These works were also admired by critics, after which his works began to be published in various publishing houses. They predicted a great future and called him one of the most promising poets of our time.

In the mid-1890s, Constantine Balmont became better known as a symbolist poet. In his work he admired natural phenomena, and in some cases dealt with mystical topics. Most of all this is traced in the collection "Evil Charms", which was banned for printing.

Having gained recognition and financial independence, Balmont visited many different countries. He shared his impressions with readers in his own works.

An interesting fact is that Balmont did not like to correct the already written text, because he believed that the first thoughts were the most powerful and correct. In 1905, the collection "Fairy Tales" was published, which the writer dedicated to his daughter.

It is worth noting that Konstantin Dmitrievich never left revolutionary ideas, which he, in fact, did not hide.

Aphorisms of Balmont, 1910

There was a case when Balmont publicly read the poem "Little Sultan", in which the listeners easily discovered the current emperor Nicholas 2. After this, the poet was expelled from St. Petersburg for 2 years.

Konstantin Balmont maintained friendly relations with Maxim Gorky. Like his friend, he was an ardent opponent of the monarchy, in connection with which he greeted the First Russian Revolution with sincere joy.

In this biography period, Balmont's poems more closely resembled rhymed slogans rather than lyrical quatrains.

When the Moscow uprising occurred in 1905, Balmont delivered a speech to the students. However, fearing to be behind bars, he decided to leave his homeland.

In the period of biography from 1906 to 1913, the disgraced poet was in France. He continued to write, but he heard more and more criticism of his work. The prose writer was accused of writing the same thing in his writings.

Balmont himself called “Burning buildings. Lyrics of the modern soul” as his best book. It should be noted that in this work, in contrast to the previous ones, there were many bright and positive poems.

After returning to his homeland in 1913, Konstantin Balmont presented a 10-volume collection of works. At that time, he worked a lot on translations and attended many Russian cities with lectures.

When the February Revolution took place in 1917, the poet, like many of his colleagues, met this event with great joy.

Balmont was sure that with the advent of the new government, everything would change for the better. However, when a terrible anarchy consumed the country, the poet was horrified. He described the October Revolution as a "chaos" and a "hurricane of madness."

In 1920, Konstantin Dmitrievich and his family moved to Moscow, but stayed there for long. Soon he, together with his wife and children, left for France again.

"Bohemian" Balmont and Sergey Gorodetsky with their spouses A. A. Gorodetsky and E. K. Tsvetkovskaya (left), St. Petersburg, 1907

In 1923, Balmont published 2 autobiographies - “Under the New Sickle” and “Air Way”. After that, he visited many more European countries, where he was always given a warm welcome.

It is worth noting that among the representatives of the Russian intelligentsia Balmont did not use authority.

For his biography, Konstantin Balmont published 35 poetry collections and 20 prose books, and also translated the works of many foreign writers.

Personal life

In 1889, Konstantin Balmont married his merchant daughter Larisa Garelina. Interestingly, the mother was totally against their wedding, but the poet was adamant.

This marriage was hard to call happy. The wife was a very jealous and scandalous woman. She did not support her husband in the work, but rather the opposite, interfered with his creative aspirations.

Some biographers of the poet suggest that it was his wife who was addicted to alcohol.

In the spring of 1890, Balmont decided to commit suicide by dropping from the 3rd floor. However, the suicide attempt failed, and he survived. However, from his injuries he had a limp all his life.

In union with Garelina he had two children. The first child died in infancy, and the second - the son Nicholas - suffered from nervous disorders. Due to objective reasons, this marriage could not last long, and soon the family broke up.

The second wife in the biography of Balmont was Ekaterina Andreeva, whom he married in 1896. Andreeva was a competent, wise and attractive girl. After 5 years, they had a daughter, Nina.

Balmont loved his spouse and often stayed with her. Together with Catherine he talked about literature, and also worked on translations of texts.

In the early 1900s, Balmont met Elena Tsvetkovskaya, who fell in love with him at first sight, on a street in Paris. He began dating her secretly from his wife, as a result of which he had an illegitimate daughter, Mirra.

However, the double life strongly oppressed Balmont, which soon grew into a depression. This led to the fact that the poet decided to jump out of the window again. But, as in the first case, he survived.

After much thought, Balmont decided to stay with Elena and Mirra. Soon he moved with them to France. There he met Dagmar Shakhovskoy.

Shakhovskaya also played a significant role in Balmont’s biography. The poet began to meet with her more and more often, until he realized that he was in love with her.

This led to the birth of two children - the boy Georges and the girl Svetlana.

It is worth noting that Tsvetkovskaya loved Balmont so much that she closed her eyes to his love affairs and never abandoned him.


During emigration to France, Konstantin Balmont was always yearning for Russia. Every day he was feeling worse, and also had material problems.

He felt not only physical, but also mental exhaustion, and therefore he could no longer engage in writing.

Balmont, forgotten by all, lived in a modest apartment, and except for the closest people, almost no one was reported.

In 1937, doctors discovered he had a mental disorder. In recent years, he lived in a shelter "Russian House", where he soon died.

Konstantin Dmitrievich Balmont died on December 23, 1942 from pneumonia at the age of 75 years.

Watch the video: Igor Stravinsky - TWO POEMS BY KONSTANTIN BALMONT - Igor Stravinsky (February 2020).