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творчества Ф. И. Тютчева


Rydel Ch. A.
Questions of Genre in Tiutchev's Lyrics

Rydel Ch.A. Questions of Genre in Tiutchev's Lyrics // Canad. Amer. Slavic Studies. – Irvine (Cal.), 1995. – Vol. 29, № 3 / 4. – P. 331–352.

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Chaos is a theme in F. I. Tiutchev's poetry which his critics have made their method, especially in determining the basic genre of his lyric poems [1]. A survey of genre analyses from Iurii Tynianov to the present day reveals that in trying to determine where to place Tiutchev and how to classify his verses, scholars have often confused elements of genre, style, and historical periodization. For example, no one seems to have distinguished between the adjective «fragmentary», an element of style, and the noun «fragment», a specific genre. The debate over whether Tiutehev is a Neoclassicist, Romantic, Realist or proto-Decadent, and arguments about whether he is an archaist or an innovator (terms which themselves transcend specific definition and defy permanent historical placement), have led to even more muddled pronouncements. Tiutchev's own Romantic sensibility, which prompted him to mix genres, his youthful training in the classics, and his tendency to retain and use everything he learned add. to the confusion. But the real source of disagreement about genre lies in Tynianov's articles about Tiutchev in his book Archaists and Innovators? [2] Several questions arise from Tynianov's work: Is Tiutehev an archaist who writes fragments of odes? Is he a Romantic with archaistic traces in his fragmentary odes? Do his poems really resemble odes of any form? And are the terms Romantic and archaist mutually exclusive?

In the wake of Tynianov's declaration that Tiutehev created the verse form of the «fragmentary ode», most critics divided into two camps, with those supporting Tynianov in the majority. Gregg points out: «...though a trifle arbitrary in his use of terms, Tynianov scores his points brilliantly – so brilliantly, indeed, that they have received the ultimate scholarly tribute: they

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have become the critical commonplaces of succeeding generations» [3]. One critic, ostensibly unwilling to disagree with Tynianov, tries to fit his perceptions of Tiutchev's genre into the formulation «anthology ode» [4]. But even as early as 1928 Zhirmunskii dissented when he stated that Tiutchev's archaistic elements occupy only a secondary place in the poet's work [5]. Everyone agrees with Tynianov's non-controversial statement that Tiutchev is «a poet of the deliberately short form» [6]. But problems arise when critics try to determine exactly what that small form may be. Scholars generally concede that «fragmentariness» characterizes much of Tiutchev's poetry, though some argue against such a designation [7]. Critics who disagree with Tynianov take exception to his placement of Tiutchev, a highly Romantic poet, in the ranks of eighteenth century archaists and his classification of the lyrics as «microscopic» or «fragmentary» odes.

Tynianov bases his argument on the elements of oratorical rhetoric that appear in the poems and on such other Neoclassical features as high frequency of adjectives, especially composite forms [8]. Using a historical approach, Tynianov sees Tiutchev searching for a suitable model and ultimately finding one in the didactic monumental style of the eighteenth century. As proof he offers the first poems, archaic in style and language, which Tiutchev wrote under the influence of his tutor, the poet S. E. Raich. Tynianov further argues that while hoping to retain his didactic tone, Tiutchev seeks a smaller, newer form; he finds it in the epistle of the Pushkin style. Unhappy with the epistle, he adopts as his model the fragment, a form introduced by the Romantics and already well known in the West. Tynianov demonstrates, with examples, the fragmentary nature of Tiutchev's lyrics. He further asserts that in spite of their abbreviated form, the poems remain «dogmatic», often allegorical [9].

Tiutchev's organization of his small forms gives his lyrics much power. Tynianov posits that the poems are really microscopic mirror images of Derzhavin's odes and hence designates them as fragmentary odes. He cites. four examples to illustrate the point that the lexical coloration of Tiutchev's

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vocabulary tends to be archaic as well as prosaic, indeed almost journalistic. Stylistic elements which brand Tiutchev as an archaist include frequent use of periphrasis and a variety of Derzhavin-like, aforementioned composite adjectives. However, Tiutchev takes the form and «makes it his own», even though Derzhavin influenced him with respect to genre (ode) and lexicon. Tynianov concludes by stating unequivocally that Tiutchev represents the last stage in the development of the eighteenth century and that his lyric poetry combines monumental style and small forms; hence the «fragmentary ode» [10].

On the surface convincing, Tynianov's argument remains flawed (insufficient textual support of statements, selective citation, narrow bias, tendency toward generalization). Although archaisms do exist in Tiutchev, they decrease in frequency during his German period. In addition, while composite adjectives appear in the works of both Derzhavin and Tiutchev, the latter's use of them borders on the innovative [11]. Perhaps the weakest part of Tynianov's argument lies in his claim that Tiutchev preferred the ode, the most formal, objective, public and impersonal genre of the lyrical mode. Close inspection of Tiutchev's lyrics shows that his works are usually subjective, private, and intensely personal (except, of course, for the blatantly political and religious verses). And while the highly structured form of the poems, along with a tendency toward exclamation and rhetorical questions, persists as remnants of the ode style, their tone is usually neither formal nor oratorical.

Several prominent critics disagree with Tynianov's classification of Tiutchev as an archaist. Using a biographical, chronological approach, Gregg challenges Tynianov's position in a well-reasoned argument in which he demonstrates that Tiutchev systematically shed «the eighteenth century poetic tradition» [12]. Pigarev, probably the most renowned Tiutchev scholar, also takes issue with Tynianov's classification of the poet as an archaist. Even though he agrees that composite adjectives appear in Tiutchev, he does not concede that they are a strictly eighteenth-century phenomenon or a hallmark of an archaistic style. «By its internal content the composite epithet first of all serves as an expression of the poet's Romantic consciousness and combines diverse, often mutually contradictory concepts» [13].

Pigarev also points out that the so-called peculiarities of genre of Tiutchev's lyrics apply only to those poems in which a specific literary exercise necessitates his use of oratorical elements. When Tiutchev writes short

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poems on philosophical or socio-political themes, he sometimes reverts to the «monumental style». In these cases one may speak of Tiutchev's connections to the Russian classical ode; but the ode style does not appear in most of the poetry. At times two poems on the same theme can produce opposite effects. For example Pigarev analyzes poems on the death of Pushkin, «29 January 1837» and Zhukovskii, «In Memory of V. A. Zhukovskii» (1852). Though both serve as «occasional» poems, the contrasting tones of the verses elicit different responses. Both poems mourn the loss of a poet; however, the first resembles a formal graveside address while the second brings to mind the musings of someone standing over the coffin of a dear friend. While both poems address the public, the second poem simultaneously functions as the lyrical narrator's personal meditation. The first poem thus relies more on oratorical archaistic features than the second. Pigarev anticipates a potential objection to his argument by pointing out that the contrasting tone of the poems derives not from a fifteen-year difference in the times of composition, but from the «task» of each work. To illustrate his position he recalls that Tiutchev, «already in the [1820s] . . . writes almost concurrently two poems – «14 December 1825» and «Evening». He continues: «In the first, one can detect the tradition of the ode style; but then the second is completely free of any type of archaistic tendency, The stylistic differences between these poems . . are defined by the distinct creative tasks which the poet sets for himself in them» [14].

Pigarev takes further exception to Tynianov's blanket classification of all of Tiutchev's addresses (obrashcheniia) to his listeners or interlocutors as didactic. He concedes that when Tiutchev's «imperative» or «confrontational» beginnings introduce works in which Tiutchev «argues, explains, or proves» something, his appeals naturally take on a didactic tone [15]. However all elements of «oratorical pathos» in appeals to his listener disappear in poems where Tiutchev simply shares his emotions with someone close to him. While admitting that at times Tynianov's analogy between Tiutchev's artistic peculiarities and the poetic heritage of the eighteenth century may be seductive, Pigarev asserts that these pronouncements are greatly overstated. He concludes that Tiutchev's own process in the mastery of his personal poetics corresponds to the evolution of Russian poetry during his time. He also implies that Tiutchev's poetry exhibits a simultaneity of poetic style which depends on the task of the poem. Nevertheless, the «evolutionary process» remains evident in the poetry. Pigarev perceives, in Tiutchev's poetry a transitional character with eighteenth-century oratorical elements coexisting with Romantic lyricism in the early period and a Romantic philosophical world-

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view alongside an emerging strain of Realism in the poet's later Petersburg years [16]. Although Pigarev's placing of Tiutchev on the road to Realism may seem like an obligatory concession to Soviet critical demands, the poems he cites do indeed contain realistic elements, especially prosaic descriptions of places and events. If Pigarev is correct, then certain prose elements may also be present in the lyrics.

Russian literary scholars of the past fifteen years have followed Pigarev's lead in discussing questions of genre and composition of Tiutchev's literary works. Critics have investigated aspects of narration, heroes, and dialogue in Tiutchev's lyrics. They have also returned to the question of the «fragmentary ode», none more intelligently than L. P. Novinskaia in an article dealing with the correlation of meter and genre in Tiutchev's original lyrics. She also may have settled the issue. Novinskaia begins by analyzing how Tiutchev's being a lyric poet and master of «small» genres complicates the literary critic's task. She states that before one can come to any conclusions about genre in Tiutchev, one must once again define the genres themselves, paying special attention to those elements which make up lyric poetry. She shows how «fragmentariness» emerges as the dominant of genre in Tiutchev's philosophical lyrics, a fact which even his contemporaries S. P. Shevyrev and Afanasii Fetnoted by referring to them as excerpts-(otryvki) She reaches the careful conclusion that «[c]ertainly fragmentariness (fragmentarnost') does not literally mean excerpting (otryvochnost') because such excerpting can appear in logically complete poems». Novinskaia proposes that the main secret of the unique nature of the genre of Tiutchev's lyrics lies in «its tension between closure and openness, completion and incompleteness» [17].

Novinskaia reviews Tynianov's essays on Tiutchev and genre. She sees the fragment not simply as an autonomous structure of genre, but as a most important structural device, forming and cementing the context of Tiutchev's lyric poetry. She then admits that another problem connected with genre studies of the lyric includes precise categorization of the variety of its forms, especially since criteria for such organization simply still do not exist. Finding order in the chaos becomes even more difficult when we recall the tendency of the Romantics to ignore genre lines: «If one takes into account the process of disintegration of boundaries of genre in the age of Romanticism and Realism, and applies it to Tiutchev's lyrics, one must probably talk not about genres in the strictest sense, but about relics of

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genre» [18]. Because of the presence of these «relics of genre» in Tiutchev's lyrics, critics have been able to see almost every genre in his poems.

Novinskaia goes on to survey existing criticism to see how earlier scholars have regarded Tiutchev's poems. Zundelovich divided the «strictly philosophical» poems into landscape and intimate lyrics. Novinskaia adds to these the political poems. She recalls Pumpianskii's «anthology ode» and Tynianov's «microscopic» ode and dismisses these terms as relative. She insists that though the earlier critics found anthological and oratorical elements in Tiutchev, what they found were relics not of genre, but of style. Novinskaia then lists varieties of genre relics which appear in the lyrics: philosophical parables, epistles, epigrams. She sees the epigram not only as a completely serious genre in Tiutchev's poetry, but also as a form congenial to his temperament. «The very nature of the epigram, closely connected with oral improvisation, salon wit and fragmentariness, is most congenial to Tiutchev, the creator of oral 'Tiutcheviana' as well as an impressive number of strictly literary epigrams» [19]. Perhaps the most important aspect of the epigram for investigations of genre in Tiutchev lies in its fragmentariness. Novinskaia sees the fragment as the genre dominant in his philosophical lyrics because it reveals the context of all of Tiutchev's poetry.

Though most critics agree-on-the fragmentary nature, of Tiutchev's poetry, Gregg argues against this point of view. He reasons that Tiutchev's lyrics are not fragments but highly unified poems. According to Gregg, «fragmentary» as an attribute of the poetry is inaccurate [20]. He shows instead that Tiutchev's poems are individually complete. In addition, sensitive interpretations arid painstaking scholarship integrate the poems into a cohesive: portrait of the poet. In effect, Gregg's methodology allows him to treat the poems as pages or chapters in an autobiography.

The poems which celebrate one aspect of Tiutchev's life, his fifteen-year love affair with Elena Aleksandrovna Denisieva, have become the subject of one area of genre studies: the lyrical cycle. The fact that Tiutchev never set out to write a specific body of poems to his beloved mistress sets the «Denisieva Cycle» apart from most other similar groupings and raises interesting problems concerning thematic and stylistic unity. Tiutchev's editor and critic Chulkov first collected the poems as an appendix to his book ; Tiutchev's Last Love [21]. As Arinina says, «The 'Denisieva' cycle is one the

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author did not intend; nevertheless, it is a cycle and therefore is extremely interesting because of its genre and richness of content» [22].

Prevailing theory on the Denisieva cycle suggests that, taken alone, each poem tells a story with a great many unknowns. Only when they are taken together as a cycle does the mystery begin to clear, but not completely. Arinina begins her discussion by citing a stanza from «The North Wind Has Become Calm». After describing in three stanzas an idyllic scene on Lake Geneva, the lyrical narrator introduces a note of sadness in the last:

Здесь сердце как бы все забыло
Забыло б муку всю свою,
Когда бы там – в родном краю –
Одной могилой меньше было... [23]

Arinina notes that we do not know the sources or specifics of this tragedy. We leam them only in the context of the cycle. «More over, each poem in any given case is only a fragment of the whole; unity of content is obtained not through a consecutive portrayal of events, but on the basis of all the poems taken together» [24].

Arinina discusses «novelistic» attributes of ihe Denisieva cycle including plot, conflict between a hero and heroine, dialogue, interior monologue, interior dialogue, and problems of narration. In a sense, she takes Pigarev's ideas about Tiutchev's tendency to Realism in his later years a step farther. Although she almost puts Tiutchev in the realm of prose, what she really seems to say is that poetic cycles approach the genre of the long narrative poem, while non-intentional cycles like Tiutchev's require a plot, though it may be fragmentary. Another critic, Kozlik, quotes yet another genre scholar who acknowledges the strong narrative strain in the Denisieva cycle, which he calls a lyrical novel. Kozlik acknowledges the need to investigate the principles of structural organization of this innovative genre; he gives that role to Tiutchev's manipulation of dialogue. In the case of the Denisieva cycle, «first and foremost there is a basis for singling out the innovative character of Tiutchev's dialogue. Here it plays the role of dominant in the construction of

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separate poems, which are thus components in the general compositional structure of the entire cycle» [25]. Many contemporary critics agree with this.

In the 1970s and 1980s scholars began to investigate the role of dialogue in Tiutchev's lyric poems. Broitman bases his arguments on Bakhtin's theories and studies the problem of dialogue in Pushkin, Lermontov, and Tiutchev. In Tiutchev he specifically concentrates on the dialogue between the observer and the characters of the «drama of existence» which makes up his lyrics [26]. Binshtok, in an article about authorial consciousness and Tiutchev's creative process, also states strongly that «A sense of dialogue is the basic structural principle of Tiutchev's lyrical system» [27]. But Broitman's interests lie more in the direction of the author/narrator/lyrical hero correspondences, a problem formerly suited to strictly narrative genres such as story, novel, or long poem.

In an analysis of Tiutchev's «tragic love» cycle, Bukharkin also discuss elements normally consigned to prose. He examines the love lyrics to Denisieva together with those that came before and after. Like Gregg, he sees certain patterns in the poems. He, too, touches on questions of genre and seems to agree with others that Tiutchev's lyrics contain a significant narrative strain. He also posits, as did Pigarev, that Tiutchev's compositional emphases developed and evolved over various periods of his life. Bukharkin sees Denisieva's death as a major turning point in Tiutchev's life and art. The need to examine life without her became a theme in his poetry. Behind everything he described in the poems lay a desire «to resurrect the past. This hidden undercurrent demanded for its own portrayal changes in the composition of the lyrical play: As he approached the 1860s Tiutchev moved from monologues in verse forms to poetic psychological novellas». Bukharkin delineates the psychological novella into two types, always stressing the evolutionary process of Tiutchev's literary method: «. . . toward the end of the 1850s the impressionistic monologue-reply turns into the poetic novella – both the action novella and the novella of reminiscence. As far as composition goes, there is no difference between them. Action lies at the center of both types: the action novella has a scene; the novel of reminiscence has intellectual ac-

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tion» [28]. He goes on to say that this genre evolved not only in Tiutchev but in other poets such as Polonskii, Maikov, Nekrasov, Annenskii and Akhmatova. Once again a critic focuses on the narrative aspects of the poet's lyrics.

As early as 1970 Bukhshtab noted the novelistic character of the Denisieva cycle. In his view the cycle resembles a post-Dostoevskian, Decadent novel with its focus on the heroine's psychological changes during the course of her love affair with the poet. From the first poems of the cycle, love appears as terrible fate. Bukhshtab also points out the Decadent themes of Tiutchev's poems with their tendency to explore the «dark» side of the Romanticism, what Mario Praz calls «Romantic agony» [29].

«Psychological novella», «Dostoevskian novel» – such terms have taken critics far from Tynianov's «fragmentary ode». Tiutchev genre criticism has evolved even more dramatically than Tiutchev's style. Nevertheless, a growing consensus acknowledges two persistent tendencies in Tiutchev's poems: fragmentariness and a strong narrative strain. Though the narrative strain appears most vividly in the Denisieva cycle, it also surfaces in individual poems – in fragments, if you please. However, these narrative fragments are not Realist, as Pigarev states, but Romantic. While prose narrative forms did reach their greatest expression in Russia during her .Realist period, they developed and grew during the Romantic period, which spawned their most important predecessor, the verse narrative or long poem. Rather than leave Tiutchev on Pigarev's road to Realism, he might better be returned to the Romantic age where he belongs.

If the basic genre of Tiutchev's poems is not the «fragmentary ode», what is it? On the surface the least complex answer is lyric, especially since it encompasses many types of verses – meditative, philosophical, descriptive, occasional, metaphysical. Odes, epigrams, epistles, and love poems also fall into this category. All of these appear in Tiutchev's body of works. Lyric, then, may be the answer, especially for a poet as Romantic as Tiutchev. In an article on the English Romantics, M. H. Abrams seeks a name for a hybrid poetic form which, except for its length, shares much with Tiutchev's poems, and finds that there is no accepted name for it. He refers to the mixture of meditative ode and landscape poetry which he eventually labels the «Greater Romantic Lyric». Poems like Coleridge's «Frost at Midnight» and «Dejection: An Ode», Wordsworth's «Tintern Abbey» and «Ode: Intimations

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of Immortality», Shelley's «Ode to the West Wind», and Keats's «Ode to a Nightingale'' do not seem to resemble Tiutchev's short lyrics. Nevertheless, like Tiutchev, in these works the English poets combine relics of the ode form with high sentiment:

Some of the poems are called odes, while the others approach the ode in having lyric magnitude and a serious subject, feeling fully meditated. They present a determinate speaker in a particular, usually a localized, outdoor setting, whom we overhear as he carries on, in a fluent vernacular which rises easily to a more formal speech, a sustained colloquy, sometimes with himself or with the outer scene, but more frequently with a silent human auditor, present or absent. The speaker begins with a description of the landscape; an aspect or change of aspect in the landscape evokes a varied but integral process of memory, thought, anticipation, and feeling which remains closely intervolved with me outer scene. In the course of this meditation the lyric speaker achieves an insight, faces up to a tragic loss, comes to a moral decision, or resolves an emotional problem. Often the poem rounds upon itself to an end where it began, at the outer scene, but with an altered mood and deepened understanding which is the result of the intervening meditation [30].

And though Tiutchev may not name the places as precisely as the English poets, his scenes are often localized and easily identified.

I do not want to imply that Tiutchev was influenced by the English Romantic poets; he took his inspiration mainly from the German Romantics. Nevertheless, such correspondences with the English writers are commensurate with Tiutchev's standing as a Romantic. In addition, many of the questions Tiutchev critics have been pondering, Abrams addresses in his study. His discussion of Coleridge's conversation poems and Wordsworth's «Tintern Abbey» could easily pertain to the «dialogue/monologue» controversy surrounding Tiutchev. 'Tintern Abbey» also inaugurated the wonderully functional device Wordsworth later called the «two consciousnesses": a scene is revisited, and the remembered landscape («the picture of the mind») is superimposed on the picture before the eye; the two landscapes fail to match, and so set a problem («a sad perplexity») which compels the meditation [31]. Tiutchev's poems do not exactly parallel this pattern, but the similari-

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ties of method and composition are as striking as the parallels with the Russian long narrative poem.

With the exception of Gregg, who stresses that Tiutchev's lyrics are highly unified, most critics argue in favor of retaining Tynianov's adjective fragmentary to deal with genre classification in Tiutchev. Novinskaia's comments on the closed but complete nature of Tiutchev's poems are important here. In her view, after all, fragmentariness does not necessarily mean excerpting. That is, the poems are not fragments, but excerpts. As Blok said, «Well, what then is Tiutchev? Short, small, all excerpts» [32]. If the poems are «excerpts», then Gregg and the critics of the Denisieva cycle are correct: each poem is an excerpt from Tiutchev's life. The biographical approach removes the mystery from Tiutchev's poems, their sources, and their dedications.

Bukhshtab makes just this argument when he points out that Tiutchev addresses many of his lyrics to unknown persons. He deliberately gives them a fragmentary character by beginning with the pronouns «he» or «she» without ever explaining who these people are. At times poems even begin in mid-conversation, between the narrator and unidentified interlocutors. Other poems begin with conjunctions. «It is as if the text is appended to something said earlier; this also creates an impression that the narrator is addressing a specific listener», [33] In this sense, then, the poems are excerpts. The narrator chooses not to tell the reader everything; instead he makes the reader wonder about the poem and work to figure out the mystery within. In an analysis of the poem «I remember a golden time», Darvin shows that even the punctuation reinforces the concealment (nedoskazannost') within the poem with its visual representation of what is not told. He describes the effect concealment has on the reader: «The ellipsis which appears after the first line of missing poem outwardly resembles a moment of concealment. But in and of itself concealment in poetry is natural and even necessary. It forces us to seek associations missing in the normal, logical structure of discourse» [34]. Concealment of facts involves the reader more intensely in the poem.

What Pumpianskii calls Tiutchev's «intensive» method [35] may result from the highly concentrated form of his lyrics. He focuses his poems, including descriptions, on selected incidents which encapsulate the high point (vershinnost') of the action. Often me narrator describes an «effect», leaving the reader to search for the «cause» on his own. Bukharkin explains in an analysis of the poem «All Day She Lay Semi-Conscious» (194) that the

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reader does not see the process of the struggle, only the result, which in this case is death! [36]Pratt describes the same phenomenon: «. . . Tiutchev rarely depicts the meditative process; his works are built around the poetic events themselves, not around poetic meditation upon the events» [37]. Tiutchev's poems express specific «high points» in the lyrical narrator's experience.

Separately, these characteristics of Tiutchev's lyrics are merely interesting observations; taken together, they form an intriguing pattern. In his book Byron and Pushkin Zhirmunskii analyzes the structure and composition of the Romantic narrative poem. According to him the high point (vershinnost'), fragmentariness (otryvochnost'), and concealment (nedoskazannost') constitute three main characteristics of the Romantic long narrative poem. In describing Byron's «lyrical narratives», Zhirmunskii underscores their novelistic form, in that they relate to a single episode from the life of the hero. Usually the event centers on a love story. Everything external to the hero gains meaning by reflecting the hero's inner conflict. These external facts and actions function as «symptoms of the spiritual state of the hero: they reveal the world of the soul... » [38]. The hero generally finds himself in love in an impossible situation; he normally must battle with some antagonist for his beloved.

The action surrounding this eternal triangle of characters does not proceed in a «historically-connected narration"; instead Byron focuses on «artistically effective high points» of the tale: «The poet singles out the artistically effective high points of the action, which can be contained in a picture or a scene – moments of highest dramatic tension. . . ». In addition the tales seem fragmentary because «the unexpected beginning leads us ex abrupto to the center of the action, to the moment of dramatic ascent. . . ». No poet, however, could maintain such a pace, especially in a relatively long poem. Therefore he must vary the tempo and intensity by providing some relief between the high points. Zhirmunskii explains what occurs in the intervals between dramatic high points and summarizes his conclusions:

1) lyrical descriptions of external conditions, primarily pictures of nature,, usually in the form of an overture to the poem or and introduction to a separate scene;

2) descriptions of the outer features of the hero and heroine, their «static» portraits;

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3) description of the state of the soul of the participating characters, their general spiritual temper, a «psychological portrait";

4) lyrical digressions of the poet, his meditations [39].

Fragmentariness and the tendency to dwell on high points contribute to the concealment factor of the poems in spite of the expository intervals.

Zhirmunskii shows that Pushkin's long narrative poems elicited dismay from his critics simply because of their concealment and fragmentariness, especially in The Prisoner of the Caucasus. This match of concealment with fragmentariness contributed to the general Romantic tendency toward mystification: «With respect to composition, the Romantic narrative poem preserves the traditional peculiarities of the genre, hallowed by the example of Byron and Pushkin: the high point, fragmentariness, and concealment. The long narrative poem opens with an effective dramatic situation, with its prehistory explained further along in the usual form of the author's narrative reminiscences or the hero's dramatic confession» [40].

It may seem unusual to draw an analogy like this between Tiutchev's lyrics and Byron's and Pushkin's long narrative poems, but many of Tiutchev's works do function as narratives. Individual poems relate an incident or went which makes up part of the long narrative of Tiutchev's combined lyrics – especially when viewed in the light of Gregg's and Pigarev's syntheses and analyses. The Denisieva cycle especially contains all the characteristics Zhirmunskii ascribes to the long narrative poem. The cycle begins with a lyrical description of nature as a prelude to the love story between Tiutchev and his mistress in «On the Neva» (124):

И опять звезда ныряет
В легкой зыби невских волн,
И опять любовь вверяет
Ей таинственный свой челн.

The parallel syntax of lines one and three sets up a metaphor between the star and love. The light ripple of the Neva's waters provides refuge for the star as well as the secret bark on which the lovers glide out on the waters as they set out upon a clandestine affair. The poem ends with an invocation to the river, as spread out as the sea, to protect the secret of the modest bark [41].

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The same aura of peace permeates «However Hot the Noon May Breathe» (125). Though the noon sun bums brightly outside, the room in which the lovers meet becomes a peaceful temple where all is quiet and dark. In this poem the lyrical narrator sets up the psychological state of the hero, a poet in love:

И в мерцанье полусвета,
Тайной страстью занята,
Здесь влюбленного поэта,
Веет легкая мечта.

These two poems paint a picture of the beginning of an idyllic love. The narrator gives no clue to the identity of the beloved.

The next poem in the cycle, «O, How Murderously We Love» (131), heralds an abrupt change of mood while it provides a fragmentary portrait of the high – or rather, low – points of the first year of the affair. We learn that the poet has put his beloved into a compromising position; he has deprived her of her innocence and caused her much pain and suffering:

Год не прошел – спроси и сведай,
Что уцелело от нея? Куда ланит девались розы,
Улыбка уст и блеск очей?
Все опалили, выжгли слезы
Горючей влагою своей.

Tiutchev's use of the verb «utselelo», while it does mean survive, also carries the connotation of remaining intact, thus obliquely underlining the young woman's loss of innocence. Bitter tears have replaced the bloom and sparkle of youm after a brief period of idyllic love.

The lyrical narrator; after beginning with a first person plural generalization, switches to an accusatory second person narration in which he catalogues what the hero and society have done to transform «live – maidenly laughter» into the malicious pain of embitterment, pain without comfort and without tears. On the other hand the entire poem (after the generalization of the first stanza) may be read as an interior dialogue in which the lyrical narrator accuses himself of gloating over his victory at his conquest of the girl. He sees what his love has done to her:

Судьбы ужасным приговором
Твоя любовь для ней была,

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И незаслуженным позором
На жизнь ее она легла!
И на земле ей дико стало;
Очарование ушло ...
Толпа, нахлынув, в грязь втоптала
То, что в душе ее цвело,

Even after reading one of Tiutchev's longest lyrics (40 lines), we know very little about the reasons why and how the idyllic love of one year before has become so bitter.

The reader may find clues in «You Have Often Heard the Acknowledgement» (135) in which the narrator tells his beloved, «I do not deserve thy love». A totally different man from the previous poem declares his selfless love for the woman rocking their daughter in her cradle. But such a happy event in no way explains the pain the narrator describes above; on the contrary, it makes the situation more puzzling – until we recall the first poem of the cycle with its implications of a clandestine affair. Therefore her «nameless cherub» is a child born out of wedlock. Note also the lyrical narrator/father's use of the personal pronoun «thy": he is not ready – or able – to acknowledge the child. Nowhere does he tell the mother of his child that he loves her, rather, he emphasizes her love and bows before her:

Перед любовию твоею
Мне больно вспомнить о себе –
Стою, молчу, благоговею
И поклоняюся тебе ... Не ends by asking her to accept his humility before her loving heart

The woman realizes the one-sidedness of her affair and tells her side of the tale in a poem which echoes the tone of «O, How Murderously We Love»: «Don't tell me he loves me as before» (143). Ellipses, many commas, fractured and inverted syntax mimic a person crying and speaking at the same time. But in spite of the inhumane way in which he destroyed her life, she affirms her love for him: «I suffer, I do not live ... I live, I live only through him». In a companion piece the poet answers his mistress by saying, «O, don't trouble me with your just reproach» (144). As Gregg says, these two poems «read consecutively ... suggest an organically connected whole, a fragment from a closet drama..». In the poem the narrator also acknowledges the one-sidedness of the affair and almost envies his mistress's capacity

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for true love in contrast to his own «growing inability to love [his mistress] as she love[s] him» [42].

И, жалкий чародей, перед волшебным миром,
Мной созданным самим, без веры я стою –
И самого себя, краснея, сознаю
Живой души твоей безжизненным кумиром.

This dramatic exchange not only depicts a striking episode in the course of a love affair, but also presents a shattering portrait of the psychological and emotional state of the two protagonists. The woman's realization of her lover's growing indifference pushes her to despair, to a state much worse than her public humiliation in a society which heaps abuse on her for being the mistress of married man as well as the mother of his child.

Conflict between the poet's mistress and society becomes the subject of a poem which further explains the bitterness the woman feels because of her irregular position (145):

Чему молилась ты с любовью,
Что, как святыню, берегла,
Судьба людскому суесловью
На поруганье предала.

Толпа вошла, толпа вломилась
В святилище души твоей,
И ты невольно постыдилась
И тайн и жертв доступных ей [43].

This poem recalls the early lyric of the cycle in which the narrator calls the room in which the lovers meet «a peaceful temple», a place of worship. Here the narrator likens their love to something sacred (sviatynia) which she cherished and to which she prayed, and her soul to a shrine (sviatilishche) which «people's idle talk» desecrated. The poet may no longer love her as ardently as before, but wishes her to be spared violation by human vulgarity. He still feels a certain tenderness toward her.

The narrator's thoughts on love filter through in two meditative poems which act, in Zhirmunskii's terminology, as intervals between the high

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points: «Predestination» (142) and «Last Love» (156). In the first lyric the poet expounds a somewhat cynical view on the nature of love. He states that legend says love is a union of kindred souls, but he adds that it is also a fateful duel. He describes the consequences of «unequal» love:

И чем одно из них нежнее
В борьбе неравной двух сердец,
Тем неизбежней и вернее,
Любя, страдая, грустно млея,
Оно изноет наконец...

Here the poet almost rationalizes the inevitability of the situation with his mistress in which he now finds himself. The «last love» he describes brings out wistful, tender, yet bittersweet feelings in the lyrical narrator. He says that in later years one loves more tenderly and more superstitiously. He asks for the sunset to last longer, comparing it to his final chance at love. He acknowledges that the body may grow weak, but tenderness remains strong in one's heart. He concludes by identifying the antithetical nature of a last love as both bliss and hopelessness (156).

Some of the bliss, of last low surfaces when the narrator finds a refuge from storm and strife in a cool, dark garden with his beloved in the poem «The Flame Reddens» (159). He recaptures the joy and comfort of the early retreat he describes in «However Hot the Noon May Breathe» (125) by repeating some elements and transforming others to evoke a picture of paradise. Recall that in the earlier poem the room is quiet and dark in spite of the blazing noon sun; it becomes a peaceful temple. While fragrant odors wander in a twilight shade within the garden's borders, the narrator tells himself to plunge into the sweet twilight and relax. A fountain sings and sprinkles the enchanted darkness with unseen dew. In the half light, engaged by secret passion, a light dream fans the poet in love.

In «The Flame Reddens» the dark garden breathes on the flames and sparks a coolness emanating from the river. Whereas the heat and cries run rampant beyond the garden, twilight dwells within. In the peace of the garden the leaves flutter and rustle while the poet listens to the passionate speech of his beloved:

А в покое нерушимом
Листья веют и шуршат.
Я, дыханьем их обвеян,
Страстный говор твой ловлю ...

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He then thanks God they are together and says that when he is with her he is in paradise. Only one slight clue tells us the situation has changed over the years. In the earlier poem his dream of secret passion wafts over; in «The Flame Reddens» he, fanned by the breathing of the leaves, hangs onto her passionate speech. In an excellent use of concealment the poet hints that their roles are now reversed without ever telling the reader how or why. Nevertheless, this poem shows that the poet still treasures time spent with his mistress.

The final poem Tiutchev dedicated to Denisieva while she was still alive contains sad images of a love grown cold. In «She Sat on the Floor» (174), the lyrical narrator watches as a woman sits on the floor and sorts old letters, which she scatters like cooled-off ashes. The narrator wonders at how much those letters contain:

О, сколько жизни было тут,
Невозвратимо пережитой!
О, сколько горестных минут,
Любви и радости убитой! ...

The parallel construction of lines one and three emphasizes that the life they shared had many sorrowful moments, full of love and joy killed. The poet can only stand by silently, ready to fall on his knees before her. And he grows terribly sad, for his love seems to him to be more like a dear apparition than a real woman. The woman as «shade» of course stands for a love now dead.

Tiutchev wrote the remainder of the poems of the Denisieva cycle after Elena Aleksandrovna's death. In general they express his grief over losing her. In «The North Wind Has Dropped» (191) the narrator looks out over Lake Geneva after the storm and marvels at the splendor of the landscape. Only at the end does he add a sad note:

Здесь сердце как бы все забыло,
Забыло б муку всю свою,
Когда бы там – в редном краю –
Одной могилой меньше было ...

Tiutchev refers to the grave of Denisieva who died just two months before. However, the mood does not convey intense grief and the relief in the weather presages relief in the poet's suffering. Yet less than a year later the poem «There is in My Suffering Stagnancy» (197-98) expresses such pain and death of the soul that the narrator sees before him only a living torture. He misses the woman who more than anyone else sacrificed herself for him:

P. 349

Ты взял ее, но муку вспоминанья,
Живую муку мне оставь по ней, –

По ней, по ней, свой подвиг совершившей
Весь до конца в отчаянной борьбе,
Так пламенно, так горячо любившей
Наперекор и людям и судьбе, –

По ней, по ней, судьбы не одолевшей,
Но и себя не давшей победить,
По ней, по ней, так до конца умевшей
Страдать, молиться, верить и любить.

And though the poet's suffering may be deep, the catalogue of Denisieva's torments makes the reader wonder whether the exchange is a fair one.

In «All Day She Lay Unconscious» (194) Tiutchev finally pays fitting tribute to the woman who sacrificed all for him:

Любила ты, и так, как ты, любить –
Нет, никому еще не удавалось!
О господи!.. и это пережить ...
И сердце на клочки не разорвалось...

On the other hand, as Gregg points out, Tiutchev almost always spoke of Denisieva's love for him rather than his for her. Perhaps his grief comes not from loss of her, but from the loss of «the great reservoir of her love» [44]. And a sense of self-pity emerges in most of the posthumous love poems. In «Today, Friend, Fifteen Years Have Gone By» (201) the poet's tone even sounds somewhat peevish:

И вот уж год, без жалоб, без упреку,
Утратив все, приветствую судьбу ...
Быть до конца так страшно одиноку,
Как буду одинок в своем гробу.

Despite his fears of loneliness that will last to the grave, the poet finds a modicum of peace, once more on the banks of a river. With the poem «Again I Stand Over the Neva» (212) the Denisieva cycle ends where it began with the narrator and his beloved together in spirit on the banks of the Neva.

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Within the Denisieva cycle itself a number of the lyrics exhibit characteristics of the Romantic verse tale [45]. But such «mini-narratives» appear throughout Tiutchev's entire oeuvre. A few «plot summaries» of the most striking examples make this clear. In «To NN» (21) the lyrical narrator describes the events of a clandestine meeting with his married lover, the role of the husband in the situation, and finally the effects of the meeting on the narrator. He also includes a brief character description of the adulterous woman:

Ты любишь, Ты притворствовать умеешь, –
Когда в толпе, украдкой от людей,
Моя нога касается твоей –
Ты мне ответ даешь – И не краснеешь!

Все тот же вид рассеянный, бездушный,
Движенье персей, взор, улыбка та ж...
Меж тем твой муж, сей ненавистный страж,
Л юбуется твоей красой послушной.

Here the lyrical narrator engages in adultery with a woman who seems to have lost her innocence in the distant past. The first and fourth stanzas confirm that she no longer can blush: «the unreturnable blush of shame / has flown away from your youthful cheeks"; deception has become a habit. Indeed she is able to dissemble to the point that her husband admires her obedient beauty at the very moment she engages in surreptitious fondling with her lover. Her husband, not a formidable opponent, barely functions as the narrator's antagonist Nevertheless he can be dangerous enough to earn the epithet, «hated sentinel» in spite of the fact mat his wife easily dupes him: The poem takes the form of a one-sided conversation in which the narrator marvels at his mistress's ability to deceive, so much so that he tells her that «infidelity flatters you» (Izmena «stit tebe). The outer details of their meetings reflect the inner workings of their soul. They appear to enjoy the titillation of secret touching at public gatherings. The situation excites the narrator to an almost sadistic pitch; the final metaphor (grapes = blood) hints at the perversity of the situation. The poem resembles a fragment of an intense conversation between two unnamed people during an ardent encounter.

Meetings of the lyrical narrator and a lover (usually in the past) become the subject of a number of poems: «I Remember That Day» (42); «I Knew Her Even Then» (186); «I Remember a Golden Time» (56) and its companion piece «To B» (223). Both «I Remember That Day» and «I Knew Her Even

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Then» celebrate innocence in love, while the other two pieces describe a time of love and bliss. All four exemplify both concealment and the high point. In all of these poems Tiutchev follows a basic narrative pattern: he sets the scene, describes an event or action of the beloved, and then relates the effect the meeting has had on him.

In other lyrics Tiutchev describes tableaux in which the narrator and his love play major roles. In «The East Whitened» (64), one of Tiutchev's most tantalizing lyrics, an incident occurs between a young girl and her lover. An excellent example of concealment, this poem leaves everything to the imagination. One can only guess at the circumstances, but internal structure provides clues. The parallel syntax of the first lines of each stanza shows changes in the dawn sky. First the east whitens, then it flushes, then it flares up. This parallels the girl first in her state of innocence, then blushing, then flaring up in passion. A seduction probably occurs in the sailboat as it slides along the water. Then the girl prays, and almost as if before an execution, she hangs her head, drops her «dazzling neck» and begins to cry.

A deep erotic strain runs through Tiutchev's lyrics and a number of «mini-narratives» especially celebrate the sensual side of love. The most explicit include «I love your eyes, my dear» (85); «Yesterday In Charmed Dreams» (86); «In the Stifling Silence of the Air» (59); «The First of December 1837» (89) and «With What Languor» (94). Gregg analyzes these poems, as well as «Italian villa» (90), and convincingly demonstrates the dark side of Tiutchev's love poems. He concludes: «Love as pain on one hand; love as sex on the other; these are the motifs which dominate the amatory verse of the second German decade» [46]. His argument confirms Bukhshtab's assertion that Tiutchev was a proto-Decadent.

Tiutchev's mini-narratives do not always describe scenes of romantic passion; their range of subject matter is wide. Indeed they fall into categories not unlike the popular sub-genre of Russia's developing short fiction at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Tiutchev's lyrics can also be seen as fragmentary historical tales, adventure stories, supernatural tales, travel accounts and even society tales. We have already seen examples of fragmentary society tales in lyrics such as «To NN» and «That To Which You Prayed» which deal with love affairs, scandal, gossip and society's censure. In «However Calumny Might Rage» (207), the narrator tries to comfort a victim of gossip by telling her to take heart for she is in the right [47].

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The narrative vein runs through many more of Tiutchev's poems [48]. Tiutchev probably did not deliberately set out to «intensify» the Romantic narrative and establish this new form as his genre, but his Romantic sensibility, rhetoric, and style are much more pronounced than his leaning toward the Neoclassical ode, Tynianov's arguments notwithstanding. Tynianov and subsequent critics have found in Tiutchev's verse traces of the ode, fragment, epistle, epigram, metaphysical poem, anthology piece, and cyclical patterns, psychological novellas, dramatic dialogues, and even novelistic tendencies. They have labeled him an archaist, innovator, Classicist, Romantic, idealist, and proto-Decadent. Each offers convincing arguments, mainly because all these elements do in fact exist in one form or another in Tiutchev's poems. As Gregg points out, Tiutchev's mind rarely relinquished thoughts, ideas, and impressions [49]. This is why Neoclassical elements surface in his poetry, as do traces of literary currents contemporary to him. Clearly, Romanticism, especially German Romanticism, exerted a strong and lasting influence on his thought and craft. And as a Romantic poet Tiutchev followed the tendency to mix genres. Hence his poetry will always be a rich source for genre studies. Yet, perhaps we should take Tiutchev's own advice about our feelings, dreams, and thoughts about his lyrics: «Admire them – and be silent. . . Take sustenance from them – and be silent... Harken to their song – and be silent» (46).

Grand Valley State University

[1] I owe a special debt of gratitude to Richard A. Gregg for encouraging me to expand the part of my dissertation which deals with Zhirmunskii's Byron and Pushkin and Tiutchev's lyrics as well as for introducing me to Tiutehev in the summer of 1967.1 would also like to acknowledge the kind assistance of the librarians, especially Helen Sullivan, of the Slavic Reference Service of the library of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Much of die material pertinent to this study I received while participating in two Summer Research Labs sponsored by the Russian and East European Center of the University of Illinois. And finally I thank my brother, Michael C. Rydel, for rescuing me from my own stylistic chaos.

[2]. Iu. Tynianov, Arkhaisty i novatory (Leningrad, 1929; rpt. Munich: Fink Verlag, 1967).

[3] Richard A. Gregg. Fedor Tiutchev: The Evolution of a Poet (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1957), p. 35.

[4] L. V. Pumpianskii, «Poeziia F. I. Tiutcheva», in Uraniia: Tiutchevskii almanakh, ed. E. Kazanovich (Leningrad: Priboi, 1928), p. 48.

[5] V. Zhirmunskii, Voprosy teorii literatury (Leningrad, 1928; rpt. The Hague: Mouton, 1962), p. 100.

[6] Tynianov, Arkhaisty i novatory, p. 356.

[7] Richard A. Gregg and Almut Schulz, Tjutlev's Kurzlyrik (Munich: Fink Verlag, 1968), pp. 12-14.

[8] Tynianov, Arkhaisty i novatory, pp. 381-84.

[9] Ibid, pp. 373-74,374-78.

[10]. Ibid., p. 385.

[11] Christine A. Rydel, «A Formal Analysis of the Poems of Fedor Ivanovic Tjuteev», unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, 1976, pp. 34-40.

[12] Gregg, Fedor Tiutchev, pp. 35-40

[13]. Kirill Pigarev, Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo Tiutcheva (Moscow: AN SSSR, 1962), p. 272.

[14] Ibid., p. 274.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid., p. 275.

[17] L. P. Novinskaia, «Sootnoshenie metra i zhanra v original'noi lirike F. I. Tiutcheva», in Zhanr i kompozitsiia literaturnogo proizvedeniia. Mezhvuzovskii sbornik (Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodsk gosudarstvennyi universitet im. O. V. Kuusinena, 1984), p. 70. The Russian word otryvochnost' has no English equivalent. Novinskaia uses the word to suggest an intentional incompleteness.

[18] Ibid., p. 73.

[19] Ibid., pp. 73,75.

[20] Gregg, Fedor Tiulchev. p. 35.

[21] G. Chulkov, Poslednidia liubov' Tiutcheva (Moscow: n. p., 1926).

[22] L. M. Arinina, «Zhanrovaia spetsifika liricheskogo tsikla v poezii F. I. Tiutcheva», in Zhanry v istoriko-literaturnom protsesse, ed. V. V. Gura (Vologda: Vologodskii gosudarstvennyi pedagogicheskii institut, 198S), p. 61

[23] F. I. Tiutchev, Lirika, vol . I (Moscow: Nauka, 1966), p. 191. Further citations of Tiutchev's poetry in this edition appear in parentheses in the text.

[24] Arinina, «Zhanrovaia spetsifika», p. 63.

[25] I. V. Kozlik, «Svoeobrazie kompozitsii 'denis'evskogo' tsikla F. I. Tiutcheva», in , Evoiitsiia zhanrovo-kompozitsionnykh form. Mezhvuzovskii tematicheskii sbornik nauchnykh trudov (Kaliningrad: Kaliningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 1987), p. 34.

[26] S. N. Broitman, «Zritel’ i deistvuiushchee litso v drame sushchestvovaniia. Dialog v lirike Tiutcheva», Problema dialoga v russkoi lirike pervoi poloviny XIX veka. Uchebnoe posobie po spetskursu (Makhachkala: Dagestanskii ordena druzhby narodpv gosudarstvennyi universitet im. V. I. Lenina, 1983), p. 45.

[27] L. M. Binshtok, «Evolutsiia avtorskogo soznaniia v lirike F. I. Tiutcheva i problema tvorcheskogo metoda poeta», in Problema avtora v khudozhestvennoi literature (Izhevsk: n. p., 1983), p. 45.

[28] P. E. Bukharkin, «Liubovno-tragediinyi tsikl v poezii F. I. Tiutcheva», Russkaia literature, 2 (1977), pp. 120,121.

[29] Bukhshtab, «Evoliutsiia avtorskogo soznaniia», p. 48; Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony, tr. Angus Davidson (Cleveland and New York: Meridian Books. World Publishing, 1967).

[30] M. H. Abrams, «Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric», in Romanticism and Consciousness, ed. Harold Bloom (New York: W. W. Norton, 1970) p. 201.

[31] Ibid., p. 206,

[32] Novinskaia, «Sootnoshenie metra», p. 70.

[33] Bukhshtab, «Evoliutsiia avtorskogo soznaniia,"pp. 66-67.

[34] M. N. Darvin, «O kompozitsii stikhotvoreniia F. I. Tiutcheva Iа pomniu vremia zototoe...'» in Literaturnoe proizvedenie как tseloe. (n.p.: n p., 1979), p. 212.

[35] Pumpianskii, «Poeziia F. I. Tiutcheva», pp. 9-11.

[36] Bukharkin, «Liubovno-tragediinyi tsikl», p. 121.

[37] Sarah Pratt, Russian Metaphysical Romanticism: The Poetry of Tiutchev and Boratyriskii (Stanfbrd: Stanford Univ. Press, 1984), p. 5.

[38] V. Zhirmunskii, Bairon i Pushkin (Leningrad: Academia, 1924), p. 34.

[39] Ibid., pp. 49-50.

[40] Ibid., p. 274.

[41] Gregg's analysis (pp. 159-61, 180-81) fits this poem into a pattern that demonstrates how recurring water imagery indicates a reference to Denisieva in Tiutchev's poetry.

[42] Gregg, Fedor Tiutchev, p. 166.

[43] Some dispute exists about the addressee of this poem,, who may be Tiutchev's second wife, Ernestine. See Anatoly Liberman, On the Heights of Creation: The Lyrics of Fedor Tiutchev (Greenwich, CT and London: JAI Press, 1993), p. 284.

[44] Gregg, Fedor Tiutchev, p. 175.

[45] Especially «All Day She Lay Unconscious», «She Sat On The Floor», «Today, Friend, Fifteen Years Have Passed», «Again I Stand on the Neva."

[46] Gregg, Fedor Tiutchev, p. 73. For a complete treatment of the theme see pp. 63-75.

[47] Pigarev's note to the poem in Tiutchev's Lirika identifies the woman to whom Tiutchev apparently addressed this poem, Nadezhda Sergeevna Akinfieva Annenkova who was judged harshly by society for divorcing her husband and marrying her uncle.

[48] tiutchev does not confine himself to narratives concerning people close to him. In some cases he prefers historical figures, as,in «Napoleon» (116-17), «Cicero» (36), and' «Venice» (121). Sometimes he combines history with travel literature, as in «Crossing Livonian Fields» (34), «The Nieman» (154-55), and «On the Way Back» (178-79). A supernatural strain characterizes the narration of «Quicksand» (38), and some poems combine the supernatural with the adventure story, as for example «The Merry Day Still Sounded» (23), «The Day Turns into Evening» (141), and «Dream at Sea» (51).

[49] Gregg, Fedor Tiutchev, p. 46.

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