Biography Afanasy Afanasevich Fet

Afanasy Afanasevich Fet

photo of Afanasy Afanasevich Fet
  • Time Period1820 - 1892
  • Place
  • CountryRussia

Poet Biography

Born in 1822 to Afanasy Shenshine and Charlota Foeth, who had left her husband to marry the Russian nobleman. Because their marriage was not official until 1822, Fet was not able to assume the name of Shenshin. Due to this, he was denied the rights of nobility.

From 1838-1844 he studied at a bording school in Estonia. At the Moscow University he writes his first poems. In 1840 he publishes his first collection The Lyrical Pantheon. Between the years of 1842-1843 eighty-five poems appear in Notes of the Fatherland and Muscovite.

In 1845 he enters military service in an attempt to reclaim his noble rights. In 1850 he publishes his second collection, including love lyric Whisper, timid breathing which containded much of Fet's lifelong stylistic tropes: verse composed almost entirely of nouns and adjectives, limited and unconvention rhymes. Containing an exceptional sense of mood, natural, melodic rhythm, these qualities made him very popular among the later Symbolists.

In 1856 his third collection is published which includes To Death his first poem to make death seem attractive. In 1857 he marries and writes Upon a Haystack on a Souther Night. It's said that this was Leo Tolstoy's favorite poem.

In 1859 Fet wrote an essay on "Tyutchev in Russian Word" that spelled out his philosophy on art. "The artist's duty is only to serve the muse and the notion of beauty". Ideology and socail concerns were of no concern to him.

Finally in 1873 Tsar Aleksandr II rectifies the situation of Fet's nobility and he is given the rights and privileges of a hereditary nobleman.

Fet died in the early winter of 1892