“King of poets” and “the whistling baritone”: seven facts about Igor Severyanin

“King of poets” and “the whistling baritone”: seven facts about Igor Severyanin

MOSCOW, may 16 — RIA Novosti, Anna Mikhailova. Poet, singer and selfish Igor Severyanin was born 16 may 1887 in St. Petersburg.

One of the most prominent figures of the Silver age, his identity still remains a mystery to researchers and readers. Perhaps the key to understanding lies in the unusual facts of his biography.


The real name of the poet — Lotarev, but fame came to him under the pseudonym of Igor-Severyanin. So, through the hyphen, the author wrote his literary name, considering it a sign of the birth of the poet and his talisman. Indeed, the unusual alias as if turned to bad fates Northerner, putting it on par with the greatest poets of the era.

The poet dropout

My mother was a Northerner was a relative of Athanasius FET and writing poetry began at the age of eight. Despite the lack of education, the poet has just finished four classes of the Cherepovets real school — he was obsessed with literature, and for ten years he published his own poems at his own expense in the form of thin brochures. By 1912 they had already accumulated 35, but readers and critics remained cool to the young talent.

“Baptism” Thick

Oddly enough, become a star poet helped a scathing review of Leo Tolstoy.

In 1909 the writer Ivan Nazhivin brought one of the brochures Northerner to Yasnaya Polyana and read his poems classics of Russian literature. The line “Sink the corkscrew in the elasticity of the plug” from the poem “Habanera II” aroused the indignation of Tolstoy: “this is literature? Around the gallows, hordes of unemployed, murders, drunkenness incredible, and they have — the elasticity of the tube…”.

However, the Northerner criticism of the master does not upset, because after the review has hit the press, the poet became a celebrity.


On the wave of success Northerner founded his own literary direction — ecofutures. He declared again nature created all people selfish, you need to develop this quality. However, less than a year the poet left the group and said that he wants to be alone. Nevertheless, he willingly acted with Vladimir Mayakovsky and David Burlyuk, to participate with them in the “First Olympiad of Russian futurism” in the Crimea.

“The whistling baritone”

The audience of his speeches he remembered that the Northerner was struck first of all a distinctive style of singing the verses to the famous musical works. Possessing an excellent memory, good hearing and a surprisingly strong voice, the poet could reproduce even the most complicated Opera parts. Initially, not all of the audience took him seriously.

Contemporaries wrote that at one performance the audience laughed in a voice, hearing it “the whistling baritone,” with a nasal pronunciation. Some people laughed so uncontrollably that they had to leave the room to catch her breath. Unflappable Northerner is unusual for poetry evenings the fun did not touch.

Long live the king!

In February 1918 at the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow was held the election of “king of poets”. The results of the voting was won by a Northerner, the Vice-king dubbed Mayakovsky.

The award ceremony was quite peculiar: from the nearest funeral home was delivered rented a huge Myrtle wreath. It laid on the neck of the Northerner. A wreath hanging down to the knees tall poet, but that did not stop him to sing their classic “poesy”, proudly stretched out and his hands behind his back. His title the poet took very seriously.

Universal poet

Awareness of one’s own talents to the end of life was accompanied by a Northerner. A resident of Leningrad village Venkula Boris Yihe remembered, once I saw the poet at the grocery store. High a stranger with graceful manners attracted the attention of rural peasants. One of them surmised that it was “a local poet Igor Severyanin”.

Hearing this, the poet stopped and snapped: “Not local, but universal. And you know what is “universal?”.

The sense of Ecumenical mission helped the poet to stop writing until the last days of life. Northerner died in 1941 in Estonia, where he lived in exile for more than 20 years.

75 years ago gone to the great Russian poet Igor Severyanin (1887-1941)… pic.twitter.com/DX7yb0xrII

Fund 1812 (@fond1812) 19 Dec 2016