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Lermontov, Mikhail Yurievich. «Vesna» (Spring).Moscow,1830.

Lermontov, Mikhail Yurievich (1814-1841) «Vesna» (Spring) (When the ice broken by spring...). Athenaeum, part IV, September 1830. Censor L. Tsvetayev. Moscow, Reshetnikov’s Printing House, 1830. On page 113. «Vesna» (Spring) (When the ice broken by spring...). The first publication of the great Russian poet! Signed: capital Latin letter «L». Contemporary slightly worn full leather binding , with the gold lettering on the spine of the book. Top and foot of spine and hinges carefully repaired. Inside a very clean and fresh copy without a printed cover. 21x13,5 cm. Extremely rare! The Lermontov ’s first publication! It’s a great culture and historic object.



At that time, yet a very young Michel (he would be 16 in October) was very into M-lle. Katya Sushkova. Lermontov’s attitude to her was not without sarcasm, as witnessed by Ekaterina Alexeyevna herself [«Notes», p. 92]. Once, he sent her in the morning a small poem. On a folded grey piece of paper the words were written: «Ey Pravda» (To her the truth). Having unfolded it, she read:


When the ice broken by spring

Goes as an excited river,

When among the fields blackens

The naked land, here and there,

And the darkness lays with clouds

On the half young fields;

A wicked dream is cherishing the sadness

In my inexperienced soul.

I see: the nature is getting younger;

But not the soul of mine!..

That the poet liked the black-eyed Mlle Sushkova, cannot be denied, of course. But, how long this fancy - or was it love? - last, or was it just a passing interest, that’s the question. It seemed that Mrs. Khvostova-Sushkova tended in her notes somewhat to exaggerate the poet’s passion. A number of small poems, even the whole sketch-notebook with drawings given by the young poet to the young lady, does not prove anything yet. At that time, Lermontov dedicated or wrote his poems to many of his friends or cousin sisters, etc. Khvostova-Sushkova wrote: «Lermontov’s head was full of romantic ideas, and the desire to ruin hearts developed very early in him. He dumped university after two years and went to the army. We laughed a lot at him, because he was very ignorant about food, he never knew whether he was eating veal or pork, game or lamb. We were saying that probably, with time, he, like Saturn, would be swallowing stones. He would lose patience at our mockery: he argued with us, almost crying, trying to convince us in the fineness of his gastronomical taste; we could bet that we would catch him in the contrary. And on the same day, after a long ride, hungry, we were drinking tea, and our gastronome, without a blink, ate one roll, than another, and was already taking the third one…» We’ll forgive to Mrs. Khovstova-Sushkova her experiments in summer 1830, she missed the point: only people like this become Great Poets! Neither did N. Martynov understand this on the evening of July 15, 1841, at the foot of the mountain Mashuk, under the pouring rain, when he was looking at the breathless body of the poet covered with Glebov’s overcoat:… sarcasm can be forgiven to such persons.

Smirnov-Sokolsky, N. «My library», Vol. 1, page 339.

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