2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
Russian poet Alexander Alexandrovich Blok (1880-1921) left a fairly extensive creative heritage. However, not so many central themes are singled out in his work. The poet wrote about love - for a woman and for his homeland. In the later works of Blok, these two themes are practically combined into one, and Russia in his poems appears before the reader as the same Beautiful Lady from his early works. In this text you can find a complete analysis of Blok's poem "Russia". Among Blok's poems about Russia there are such masterpieces as the cycle "Kulikovo Field", "Rus" ("You are extraordinary even in a dream…"), "Russia" ("Again, as in golden years…").
A brief plan for analyzing Blok's poem "Russia"
- History of the creation of the work
- Strophic poem,its size, kind of rhyme
- Means of artistic expression. Syntactic and lexical features of the poem
- Theme, the idea of the poem. Motives and symbols. Composition features
The poem "Russia": the history of creation
In 1906, Alexander Blok graduated from St. Petersburg University. Researchers consider this moment the beginning of his professional, mature creativity. From 1907 to 1916, Blok worked on the Motherland cycle, the main idea of which was the expression of a bright feeling of love for his country. The poet really loved Russia very much, being disappointed in the 1920s. 20th century in the revolution that took place, he did not leave the country, like other representatives of the Russian intelligentsia.
The cycle "Motherland" also includes the poem "Russia", written in the autumn of 1908. Compared to other poems in the cycle, this work has won the greatest popularity among readers.
The skeleton of a poem: by what means was a masterpiece created?
So, Blok's verse "Russia". Analysis of the poem involves highlighting its technical features.
There are six stanzas in the poem, each of which represents a quatrain, except for the final one (it consists of six lines). The work is written in iambic tetrameter. The poet uses a cross rhyme according to the following pattern: AbAb (uppercase means feminine rhyme, lowercase means masculine).
Let's continue the analysis of Blok's poem "Russia". The artistic means used by the poet is an extremely important part of the analysis, as it allows you to find out what means of language helped the author express his thoughts and feelings.
Expressive means, lexical and syntactic features
Blok in his poem resorts to the use of epithets (colorful definitions): "golden years", "impoverished Russia", "robbing beauty", "beautiful features", "melancholy guarded".
The poet uses metaphors (tropes based on a hidden comparison): "care will cloud", "a song is ringing". Through the whole poem there is a comparison of Russia with a woman. However, comparisons are used in the poem not only at the macro level, but also at the micro level: "like in the golden years", "like the first tears of love". In the fifth stanza, a hidden comparison of Russia with a river and worries with a tear is used. Almost throughout the text, Blok resorts to inversion (rearrangement of words). The first stanza contains elements of sound writing based on alliteration - the repetition of consonant sounds.
Let's continue the analysis of Blok's poem "Russia". The poet uses various means of expression, including syntactic ones. Among them are homogeneous members of the sentence (“you won’t get lost, you won’t perish”; “it will lure and deceive”; “forest, yes field, / Yes, patterns patterned to the eyebrows …”; “gray huts” and “wind songs”). The repetition of words is also used (see the second stanza: the repetition of the words "Russia", "your"; also see the fifth:"one care" - "one tear"). Homogeneous parts of a complex sentence contribute to the appearance of an anaphora (the same beginning of lines) in the final stanza ("when" - "when").
The poet uses colloquial vocabulary: "you will perish", "more". Used in moderation, it gives the reader a feeling of deep merging with the country, its antiquity, its people.
Oh my Russia! My wife! Painfully…
The theme of Blok's work is the fate of his native country. The poet compares her to the fate of a woman.
It is impossible to unequivocally characterize this fate. On the one hand, the poet hints at her tragedy: his heroine will give herself to a sorcerer who will "lure and deceive" her.
And only care will cloud
Your beautiful features…
But, barely hinting at this tragedy, the poet immediately remarks life-affirmingly:
Well? One more concern -
One tear makes the river noisier, And you are still the same - forest, yes field, Yes, patterned to the eyebrows…
His heroine Russia will never "disappear" and "perish", no matter what sorcerer she gives her "robber beauty". Trials only make her stronger, richer and more beautiful:
One tear makes the river noisier
The poem is literally filled with love and admiration that the lyrical hero experiences in relation to his homeland. This is not a detached contemplative love for native natureand not an ardent patriotic feeling. No, these poems can hardly be compared with the civil or landscape lyrics of other poets. Rather, they resemble Blok himself - his poems dedicated to the Beautiful Lady. Love for Russia here is love for a woman. The feeling of the poet is saturated with love charm, enthusiastic admiration and timid awe. Block says it right in the second stanza:
Your wind songs for me -
Like the first tears of love!
Compare this attitude to the country with the first poem from the cycle "Kulikovo Field", where the lyrical hero exclaims:
Oh my Russia! My wife!
The image of Russia fills the hero with strength:
And the impossible is possible, The road is long and easy, When it shines in the distance of the road
Instant glance from under the handkerchief, When ringing melancholy guarded
Deaf song of the coachman!..
In the same way, in one of the poems of the Kulikovo Field cycle, the hero is inspired by the image of a woman, his Eternal Wife.
Comparison with other works of the poet suggests a plan of analysis. Alexander Blok's poem "Russia", along with the cycle "Kulikovo Field" and other poems, expresses a bright feeling of love for the Motherland, close to passionate love for a woman.
But nevertheless, in different verses of Blok, the image of the Motherland is refracted in different ways. One of the most famous works of the poet is the poem "Rus". Fairy tale characters live here in their native country. Descriptionexpanses of the Motherland brings the poem closer to the ancient epic tales:
Rus is surrounded by rivers
And surrounded by wilds, With swamps and cranes, And with the cloudy eyes of a sorcerer.
In the later poem "Russia", fairy-tale characters are replaced by a peasant woman in a headscarf and an ordinary Russian coachman. But the fabulous elements don't disappear for good:
Whatever sorcerer you want
Give me the rogue beauty!
Troika bird, who invented you?
The first two stanzas are a kind of exposition of the poem, a description of the beloved country and the feelings of the poet. The main idea of the work and its climax is concentrated in the following three stanzas. The final six-verse plays the role of a cathartic (that is, enlightening) conclusion.
In the first stanza, Blok draws a picture in the reader's imagination that echoes Russian landscape painting (Savrasova, Vasilyeva, etc.). This is an image of a poor, dirty Motherland. An unattractive, it would seem, image, but it is deeply sympathetic to the author - and his sympathy is communicated to the reader.
Again, as in the golden years, Three frayed harnesses, And painted knitting needles
In loose ruts…
There is a connection here, but not only with painting. In N. V. Gogol's poem "Dead Souls" there is a leitmotif - the road, which throughout the entire poem is naturally identified with the image of the Motherland. The first volume of "Dead Souls"ends with a lyrical digression by the author, full of deep poetry and love for his native land. The image of Russia in this retreat is the image of a "troika bird" that majestically flies, leaving other countries far behind. It is not surprising that Blok, at the very beginning of his poem about Russia, recalls precisely the road, bad, dirty, but crossing the whole country. Researchers have repeatedly noted this connection between the beginning of Blok's poem and the lyrical digression about Gogol's "bird-troika".
The poem has a symmetrical structure: it begins with a description of the road and ends in the same way:
And the impossible is possible, The road is long and easy
It can be said that the whole poem is just a traveler's reflection on the road. In this sense, parallels can be drawn with the lyrics of both Pushkin and Nekrasov.
Three times of Russia
The road symbolizes renewal. And although "poor Russia" becomes the subject of the image in the poem, the poet reflects on its future.
In the poem, all three times of the Russian language intersect: the present (the moment of the road reflection, captured by the author in the poem), the past (the mention of the golden years in the first stanza) and the future (through the tragic recklessness of the native land, conveyed here in the image of a lover and surrendering woman - to the next rise of Russia, which owes this rise precisely to its own recklessness).
Maybemaybe the poet, thinking about the future of his country, foresaw the trials ahead, because the poem was written in the period between the two Russian revolutions! In any case, the poet believed until his death that no trials could shake the strength and inner beauty of his Russia.
The lines of the last stanza have a dual interpretation. On the one hand, the poet writes about the strength inspired by his native land (see above), but on the other hand, in these lines he expresses hope for the renewal of Russia. Upgrading, which so far, in a poor wagon, on a dirty, bad road, seems unlikely.
Analysis of Blok's poem "Russia" involves considering the text from the point of view of its symbolism, because Alexander Aleksandrovich Blok is the leading representative of the "junior symbolists" movement (one of the branches of Russian symbolism - the literary trend of the late 19th - early 20th centuries). A characteristic feature of symbolism is the use of various kinds of symbols, understatement, allusions, etc. In the poem "Russia" the road plays the role of a symbol.
Motif of liberty in the poem "Russia"
The desire for freedom is a characteristic feature of the Russian people, and hence Russia, which was left its mark by the centuries-old oppression of serfdom. Therefore, the motives of rebellion, freedom, liberty are present in many works of Russian authors about their native country.
Alexander Blok is no exception. He touches on the theme of liberty in the poem "Russia". After all, the beauty of his Russia is "robbery", and "cautiouslonging" the song of his coachman rings.
We made an analysis of the poem "Russia" by Alexander Alexandrovich Blok.
A great poet has the whole range of expressive means that he uses to express his thoughts. Alexander Blok is a very great poet, the greatest creator. Every technical nuance and artistic detail, every metaphor and every comparison is another small touch in the portrait of a passionately loved … no, not a woman - a country. Motherland.
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