One of Russia’s most celebrated poets of all times, Michael Lermontov was born in Moscow in the family of a nobleman. He spent his childhood and youth at Tarkhany, his grandmother’s estate in the province of Penza. In 1830 Lermontov entered Moscow University, but very soon had to leave it. Then he entered St. Petersburg School of Cavalry Cadets. He finished it in 1834 and served in the Hussar Regiment of the Imperial Guard.
In 1837 the poet was exiled to the Caucasus for his poem on Pushkin’s death, in which he put blame for it on the ruling circles of Russia under Nicholas I. In 1841 Lermontov was exiled to the Caucasus for the second time. As a result of the intrigues by the officers he was provoked into a personal quarrel with a schoolmate of his. The quarrel led to a duel. On July 15, 1841 the poet was killed. He was not twenty seven at the time.
Lermontov began writing when he was very young. One of his first writing to be published was his verse tale “Hadzhi Abrek”. But he won fame as a poet after his poem on Pushkin’s death was published. Lermontov’s poems “Demon”, “Mtsyri” and “Lay of the Merchant Kalashknikov”, his innumerable lyrics, his great novel “A Hero of Our Time” and his play “Maquerade” are masterpieces of Russian literature. Whether he chose to write poetry, prose or drama, the stamp of his genius was to be found on his works.
The poet was greatly influenced in his writings by the ideas of the Decembrist movement. Lermontov’s influence as a poet and a thinker on all Russian writers can’t be overestimated.