Radunitsa. [Commemoration of the Dead.] Petrograd: M. V. Averyanov, 1916. 8vo. 62 pp. Original gray wrappers. Spine rebacked and wrappers somewhat stained. Provenance: A.V. Leontiev-Istomin (book plate).
FIRST BOOK BY THE FAMOUS PEASANT POET. Esenin freely borrowed church imagery to explore the "wooden Russia" of his childhood in his early poetry. Bolsheviks like Leon Trotsky thought he smelled too much of the Middle Ages, but Gorky reportedly wept when Esenin read him his poems. He was both a highly popular and self-destructive poet who drank too much and finally committed suicide in 1925. Most of his work was banned under Stalin and Khrushchev and yet he remained one of Russia's most beloved poets.
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