Nadson, Semyon Yakovlevich

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NADSON, SEMYON YAKOVLEVICH (1862–1887), poet. He was grandson of an apostate Jew. After the death of his parents, his uncle, despite his opposition, sent him to army high school and to officers' school, from which he was discharged only because he became ill with tuberculosis. Owing to his illnesses during childhood, he suffered from antisemitic persecution from members of his mother's noble family. The sensitive and optimistic lyrics of his Stikhotvoreniya ("Poems," 1885) reflect an orphan's childhood and tragically brief career. Often republished in the U.S.S.R., Nadson's verse appealed especially to younger readers. Despite his Christian upbringing, he dedicated one poem to the Jews – "Ya ros tebe chuzhim, otverzhenny narod" ("I Grew Up Strange to You, Parish People") – which appeared in Pomoshch (1901), an anthology published to raise funds to aid devastated Jewish communities.