Famous Russian Poets

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 1 
Vladimir Nabokov
(Best Known For His Novels 'Lolita' and 'Pale Fire')
Vladimir Nabokov
6
Birthdate: April 23, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: July 2, 1977
Russian author Vladimir Nabokov, also known by his pen name, Vladimir Sirin, is best remembered for his controversial novel Lolita. His other works include the novel Pale Fire and his memoir, Speak, Memory. He was also an entomologist, specializing in lepidoptery. He also liked composing chess problems.
 2 
Alexander Pushkin
(The Greatest Russian Poet and the Founder of Modern Russian Literature)
Alexander Pushkin
10
Birthdate: May 26, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: January 29, 1837
Legendary Russian playwright, poet, and novelist Alexander Pushkin is considered one of the most prominent figures of the Romantic era and of Russian literature. He is remembered for his poem Ode to Liberty, one of his works that led him to be exiled by Tsar Alexander I. 
 3 
Boris Pasternak
(Russian Poet & Novelist Who Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958)
Boris Pasternak
6
Birthdate: February 10, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: May 30, 1960

Son of an artist father and a pianist mother, Boris Pasternak initially wished to become a musician. He is best known for his novel Doctor Zhivago, set against backdrop of the Russian Revolution. The Soviet Communists forced him to decline the Nobel Prize, which his descendants later accepted.

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 4 
Vladimir Mayakovsky
(Russian Poet and Playwright Who was a Prominent Figure of the Russian Futurist Movement)
Vladimir Mayakovsky
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baghdati, Georgia
Died: April 14, 1930

Vladimir Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet playwright, poet, artist, and actor. He was a prominent figure of the Russian Futurist movement in the pre-Revolution period leading to 1917. He produced a large and diverse body of work during his career. He admired Vladimir Lenin and supported the ideology of the Bolsheviks. He was popular outside Russia as well. 

 5 
Anna Akhmatova
(One of the Most Significant Russian Poets of 20th Century)
Anna Akhmatova
5
Birthdate: June 23, 1889
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine
Died: March 5, 1966

One of the greatest Russian women poets, Anna Akhmatova had started writing poems at age 11. She was part of the Acmeists, who laid down their own style, Acmeism. Poema bez geroya and Requiem remain two of her finest works. She later wrote about the horrors of the Stalinist regime.

 6 
Ivan Turgenev
(Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet & Popularizer of Russian Literature in the West)
Ivan Turgenev
6
Birthdate: November 9, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oryol, Russia
Died: September 3, 1883

It is believed Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev was highly inspired by his dominant mother in his younger days and thus created strong female characters in his novels later. He is remembered for popularizing Russian literature and realism in the West. One of his most notable works was Father and Sons.

 7 
Eduard Limonov
(Writer and Founder of 'National Bolshevik Party')
Eduard Limonov
5
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dzerzhinsk, Russia
Died: March 17, 2020

The firebrand National Bolshevik Party leader Eduard Limonov gained fame with his first novel, It's Me, Eddie, which contained explicit sexual imagery and obscene language, and was written while he was in literary exile in New York. He was also part of The Other Russia, a group of Putin opposers.

 8 
Mikhail Lermontov
(Former Romantic poet and author of the novel A Hero of Our Time)
Mikhail Lermontov
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1814
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: July 27, 1841

One of the most significant Russian romantic authors of the Golden Age of Russian Poetry, Mikhail Lermontov is remembered for his iconic novel A Hero of Our Time. His initial poems, such as Prisoner of the Caucasus, were highly Byronic. His writings laid the foundation for the Russian psychological novel.

 9 
Joseph Brodsky
(Poet, Essayist and Winner of 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Joseph Brodsky
6
Birthdate: May 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: January 28, 1996
Nobel Prize-winning Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky is remembered for his elegiac and lyric poems. While he had started writing poems soon after leaving school, he was sentenced to hard labor by the Soviets for his irregular work record. He later moved to the U.S., where he taught at various universities.
 10 
Sergei Yesenin
(One of the Most Popular Russian Lyric Poets of the 20th Century)
Sergei Yesenin
5
Birthdate: October 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Konstantinovo, Russia
Died: December 28, 1925

Born into a peasant family, Russian lyrical poet Sergei Yesenin was a significant figure of Imaginism. Known as "the last poet of wooden Russia," Yesenin soared to fame with works such as Radunitsa. He later committed suicide in a hotel, having written his last poem in his own blood.

 11 
Arkady Strugatsky
5
Birthdate: August 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Batumi
Died: October 12, 1991
 12 
Maya Deren
(Ukrainian-born American Filmmaker Who Abandoned Established Rules of Filmmaking and Created Her Own Techniques)
Maya Deren
4
Birthdate: April 29, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: October 13, 1961

Maya Deren was a Ukrainian-born American filmmaker known for her experimental work. She played a major role in promoting the avant-garde in the mid-20th century. A multifaceted personality, she was also a dancer, choreographer, film theorist, photographer, and writer. She abandoned established rules of filmmaking and created her own techniques. Sadly, she died at the young age of 44.  

 13 
Ivan Bunin
(The First Russian Writer to Receive the Nobel Prize for Literature)
Ivan Bunin
3
Birthdate: October 22, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Voronezh, Russia
Died: November 8, 1953

Ivan Bunin was a Russian writer whose stories and poems are regarded as one of the richest collection of works in the Russian language. In 1933, Ivan Bunin became the first Russian writer to be honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature. Subsequently, he donated 100,000 francs to a charity fund.

 14 
Ilya Ehrenburg
4
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine
Died: August 31, 1967
 15 
Marina Tsvetaeva
(Russian Poet Who Lived during the Russian Revolution)
Marina Tsvetaeva
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: August 31, 1941

Remembered as one of the greatest Russian literary figures of the 20th century, Marina Tsvetaeva was an integral part of Russian symbolism. She faced the Russian Revolution and lost her youngest daughter to the famine that followed. After her husband’s execution under espionage accusations, she committed suicide at age 48.

 16 
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
(Writer Best Known for 'Babiyy Yar', a Political Poem)
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nizhneudinsk, Russia
Died: April 1, 2017

Russian author Yevgeny Yevtushenko, known for works such as Wild Berries and Bratsk Station, is also remembered for his advocacy of artistic freedom in Russian literature rather than a reliance on political overtones. Following the death of Stalin, he focused on using unadulterated language and lyrics with a personal touch.

 17 
Natalia Pushkina
(Former Poet who was wife of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin)
Natalia Pushkina
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1812
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Tambov Oblast, Russia
Died: November 26, 1863
 18 
Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia
(Grandson of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, and a poet)
Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia
4
Birthdate: August 22, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Strelna, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: June 15, 1915
 19 
Daniil Kharms
(Soviet Author Who Specialized in Surrealist and Absurdist Writings)
Daniil Kharms
3
Birthdate: December 17, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: February 2, 1942

A co-founder of the avant-garde association OBERIU, Daniil Kharms was a Soviet author who was a major figure of surrealism and absurdism. Known for his works such as The Old Woman, he made a huge contribution to children’s literature. He was later arrested and exiled for writing anti-Soviet works.

 20 
Varlam Shalamov
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vologda, Russia
Died: January 17, 1982
 21 
Nâzım Hikmet
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Thessaloniki
Died: June 3, 1963

Turkish poet and author Nâzım Hikmet was chiefly known as a Romantic Communist. After being jailed in Turkey for his political activities, he spent the rest of his life in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. He redefined Turkish literature with his free verse and poems such as Şeyh Bedreddin destanı.

 22 
Hayim Nahman Bialik
(Russian-Jewish Author and a Pioneer of Modern Hebrew Poetry)
Hayim Nahman Bialik
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ivnytsia, Volhynian, Ukraine
Died: July 4, 1934

Russian-Jewish author and poet Hayim Nahman Bialik was one of the leading figures behind the development of modern Hebrew poetry. He grew up amid poverty and worked briefly as a lumber merchant, before becoming a teacher. Apart from expressing the anguish of the Jewish people through his works, he also translated many classics.

 23 
Osip Mandelstam
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: December 27, 1938
 24 
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
(Writer Who Specialized in Science Fiction and Historical Novels)
Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pugachyov, Russia
Died: February 23, 1945

Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy, also known as Comrade Count, initially tasted fame with the novel Nikita’s Childhood and then redefined the science-fiction, thriller, and historical novel genres. As part of the Extraordinary State Commission, he was the first to ascertain that the Nazis had used gas vans during World War II.

 25 
Alexandr Griboyedov
(Author Recognized as 'homo unius libri' for His Work 'Woe from Wit')
Alexandr Griboyedov
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1795
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 11, 1829

Russian playwright Alexandr Griboyedov is best remembered for his comedy Gore ot uma, or Woe from Wit. He participated in the Decembrist revolt and even got arrested once. He was the Russian Ambassador to Iran and died at the hands of an Iranian mob during an attack on the embassy.

 26 
Andrei Platonov
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Voronezh, Russia
Died: January 5, 1951
 27 
Eldar Ryazanov
(Film Director, Screenwriter)
Eldar Ryazanov
4
Birthdate: November 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Samara, Russia
Died: November 30, 2015
 28 
Bulat Okudzhava
4
Birthdate: May 9, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: June 12, 1997
 29 
Arseny Tarkovsky
(Poet, Translator)
Arseny Tarkovsky
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1907
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine
Died: May 27, 1989
Alexander Bashlachev
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cherepovets, Russia
Died: February 17, 1988
 31 
Nikolay Nekrasov
(Poet who Introduced Ternary Meters and the Technique of Dramatic Monologue into Russian Poetry)
Nikolay Nekrasov
3
Birthdate: December 10, 1821
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nemyriv, Ukraine
Died: January 8, 1878

Russian poet Nikolay Nekrasov established himself as a successful businessman before stepping into writing. He bought and developed the magazine Sovremennik, or The Contemporary. Most of his poems, such as Red-Nosed Frost, spoke about the misery of the peasant class. He also introduced the dramatic monologue to Russian literature.

 

 32 
Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy
(One of the Most Important 19th-Century Russian Historical Dramatist)
Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1817
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 10, 1875

Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy was the second cousin of Leo Tolstoy and a gifted poet, playwright, novelist, and satirist, who often made use of historical themes. His iconic trilogy of historical dramas, consisting of The Death of Ivan the Terrible, Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich, and Tsar Boris, was widely acclaimed.

 33 
Andrei Bely
(Novelist)
Andrei Bely
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: January 8, 1934
 34 
Vasily Zhukovsky
(Russian Poet)
Vasily Zhukovsky
3
Birthdate: February 9, 1783
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mishenskoe, Russia
Died: April 24, 1852

Born as an illegitimate son of a Russian landowner father and a Turkish slave mother, Vasily Zhukovsky had initially been the tutor of Tsar-Liberator Alexander II. He later co-founded the Arzamas society, which opposed classicism in poetry. With his poems and translations, he brought the Romantic Movement to Russia.

 35 
Anatoly Lukyanov
(Politician)
Anatoly Lukyanov
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Smolensk, Russia
Died: January 9, 2019
 36 
Yegor Letov
(Poet, Composer)
Yegor Letov
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Omsk, Russia
Died: February 19, 2008
 37 
Nikolay Karamzin
3
Birthdate: December 12, 1766
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mikhaylovka, Russia
Died: June 3, 1826
 38 
Olga Ivinskaya
3
Birthdate: June 16, 1912
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tambov, Russia
Died: September 8, 1995
 39 
Nikolay Gumilyov
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kronshtadt, Russia
Died: August 24, 1921
 40 
Zinovia Dushkova
4
Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kongaz, Moldova

Zinovia Dushkova is a Russian poet, historian, philosopher, and author. A prominent writer, Dushkova's works have been translated into seven languages. In 2015, she was honored with the 20 Years of Gagauzia Medal. In 2017, Zinovia Dushkova’s book, The Call of the Heart, was honored at the Nautilus Book Awards with a silver medal in the United States of America.

 41 
Igor Talkov
(Singer-Songwriter and Film Actor Known for His Popular Songs ‘Clean Ponds’ and ‘Summer Rain’)
Igor Talkov
3
Birthdate: November 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tula Oblast, Russia
Died: October 6, 1991

Soviet Russian singer-songwriter and film-actor Igor Talkov is best-known for releasing popular songs like Clean Ponds and Summer Rain. While several of his songs were about love and fate, many also included lyrics containing political message criticising the Soviet regime. He also starred in the films Tsar Ivan the Terrible and Behind the Last Line. He was murdered in 1991.

 42 
Dmitry Bykov
(Writer, Journalist)
Dmitry Bykov
2
Birthdate: December 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
 43 
Dmitry Merezhkovsky
3
Birthdate: August 2, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Died: December 9, 1941
 44 
Boris Ryzhy
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Died: May 7, 2001
 45 
Vladimir Paley
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: July 18, 1918
 46 
Velimir Khlebnikov
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Malye Derbety, Russia
Died: June 28, 1922
 47 
Alexander Rosenbaum
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leningrad, Soviet Union

Born into a family of doctors, Alexander Rosenbaum, too, had initially been a doctor. However, later emerged as one of the greatest singing poets of Russia, best known for his blatnaya pesnya songs such as Gop-Stop, which described the criminal subculture of his country. He was also named the People's Artist of Russia.

 48 
Mira Mendelson
4
Birthdate: January 8, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kiev, Russia
Died: June 8, 1968
 49 
Korney Chukovsky
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: October 28, 1969
 50 
Yanka Dyagileva
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Novosibirsk, Russia
Died: May 9, 1991