Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mikhail Kuzmin

Portrait by Konstantin Somov (1909)

Mikhail Alekseevich Kuzmin (1872 - 1936) was a Russian poet, musician and novelist, a prominent contributor to the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. Read more on Wikipedia

Lowry refers to the poet in his first novel Ultramarine; "Mikhail Kuzmin's flute is heard, playing softly - Soldiers' Canteen." (Pg. 112). The flute is a reference to Kuzmin's poem Alexandrinische Gesange: 

When someone says: 'Alexandria,'
I see the white walls of a house,
a small garden row of gillyflowers,
an autumn evening's pale sunlight
and hear the music of distant flutes.

The reference to the Soldiers' Canteen is unidentified.

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