Day commemorating Alexander Blok in Saint Petersburg

Alexander Blok, the great Russian poet and playwright, one of the brightest representatives of Russian symbolism died eighty-one years ago, on August 7. Saint Petersburg, where the poet lived, traditionally marks August 7 as the Day Commemorating Alexander Blok.

The service for the dead in one of the churches of the former Russian capital was attended today by numerous worshippers of the poet. Then flowers were laid at the grave of Blok in the Volkovskoye Cemetery. In the evening, a literary and musical party will take place in the Blok Museum in Petersburg.

The most famous poem of Blok (1880-1921), "The Twelve", which was translated into many languages, reflects the contradictory attitude of the Russian intelligentsia to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 in the country. This poem speaks of the poet's hopes and fears concerning the future of the country under the rule of communists. Another great poet of that epoch, Vladimir Mayakovsky, recalled his meeting with Blok on the first days of the revolution. He asked Blok whether he liked the revolution. "Good," answered Blok. And then added: "My library in the village was burned down." These two answers - "good" and "my library was burned down," in the opinion of Mayakovsky, "reflected the poet's two reactions to the revolution, fantastically blended in the poem "The Twelve."

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