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“The continuity of disenchantment”: the aesthetics of Silver Age poetry in Olga Berggolt’s poem “Sagebrush”

A. Arkatova
80,00 Р

UDC 811.161.1`42:82-1


Arkatova Anna Ye.,

Doctor of Philosophy, PhD of University of Illinois (USA);

Associate Professor of the United International College,

Hong-Kong Baptist University,

Centre of Foreign Languages and Cultures (China)



An analysis of Olga Berggolts’ poem “Sagebrush” (or “Parting”, 1928) pertaining to the early and underresearched part of her oeuvre. The poem is parsed with reference to the basic motives of tearing off and unclenching that “stretch” key images (shawl, grass, heart, mouth) within its imaginative horizontal plane. These metaphorical graphics symbolize the lyrical heroine’s disappointment in love which is as boundless as the earth and immense as grass, while having been metaphorically defined by Marina Tsvetaeva’s poetic phrase, “the continuity of disenchantment”. The poem is analyzed with reference to Silver Age verse and, in particular, the structure and imagery of Aleksander Blok’s “O Doblestiakh, o podvigakh, o slave”, Anna Akhmatova’s “Szhala ruki pod temnoi vual’iu…”, and Marina Tsvetaeva’s own “Riabinu Rubili Zor’koiu” (1934). These Silver Age connections not only enrich the artistic aspect of Berggolts’s text, but contest the stereotype of the author as a Soviet poet whose artistic work was constrained by the official ideology of the communist party.

Keywords: Berggolts, Akhmatova, Blok, Tsvetaeva, love lyrics, female body, notions of love, ideology,

grass imagery, shawl imagery.



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