• Ренато Поджиоли

Ренато Поджиоли (Renato Poggioli)


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  • Nikolaj Gumilev
    The son of a navy doctor, Nikolaj Gumilev was bom in 1886 in the arsenal city of Kronstadt. He started his literary career very early, and when he was twenty-two he had already published two collections of poems, The Way of the Conquistadors (1905) and Romantic Flowers (1908). He briefly studied Romance philology at the Sorbonne, and in 1909 he was one of the founders of the Petersburg literary review Apollo, which a few years later became the organ of Acmeism. The acknowledged leader of that movement, Gumilev also helped to establish in Petersburg a “guild” of young poets. It was in that period of time that he married the poetess Anna Akhmatova (from whom he was divorced in 1918) and published the most important collection of his youth, Pearls (1910). Obsessed by a spirit of adventure, and perhaps influenced by Kipling (as he was to be later influenced by D’Annunzio, to whom he addressed an ode during the Fiume affair), he dreamed of an African empire for Russia. After an earlier voyage, he returned in 1913 to Somaliland and Abyssinia, this time at the head of an ethnographical and geographical expedition organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences. He reflected his experience of the dark continent in many of his ensuing books, starring with Foreign Sky (1912), which contained, among many other things, a scries of Abyssinian songs.