On the Strophic Preferences of G. R. Derzhavin (Based on the Material of his Lifetime Collected Works)

Publication type Article
Status Published
M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University
Institute of World Culture at the M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University
Address: 1 bld. 51 Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russia
Journal nameIzvestiia Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriia literatury i iazyka
EditionVolume 81 Issue 4

The article analyzes the stanza of G.R. Derzhavin on the material of the collected works prepared by him (Part 1–5. St. Petersburg, 1808–1816). In scholarly literature, Derzhavin's work is usually either presented as full of experiments, or easily fits into his contemporary context. Analysis of the corpus of poems clarifies this idea in relation to strophic. On the one hand, the poet really chooses for many works “usual”, predictable stanzas (for example, quatrains or 8-verses stanzas). Although Derzhavin wrote not so many works with many popular stanzas, it is not surprising that his work is largely associated with them. For example, it is the odes “God” and “Felitsa”, written in odic decims, that are one of the poet’s “calling cards”, although in general this stanza accounts for only a little more than 7% of poems, or 12% of poems. On the other hand, from 5% to 25% of works written with some identical stanzas stand out from the rest in some way: it can be the choice of a rare stanza, unusual rhyming, non-standard combination of stanza and meter. At the same time, many techniques, with the help of which Derzhavin creates the unusualness of a stanza, are repeated and amenable to classification. Accordingly, in this corpus there is a place for both “traditions” and experiments – he really has quite a lot of the latter, although even in different stanzas they are often quite the same type.

KeywordsG.R. Derzhavin, versification, stanza, stanza reference book, experimental stanzas
AcknowledgmentThis article results from the research project based at the Institute for World Culture of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) and supported by the Russian Scientist Foundation (RSF, project no. 19-78-10132).
Publication date28.09.2022
Number of characters22722
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