Alekseeva, Lidiya (1909—)

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Alekseeva, Lidiya (1909—)

Russian émigré poet. Name variations: Lidiia Alekseevna Alekseeva. Born Lidiya Alekseeva Devel in Dvinsk, Russia, in 1909; began to write poetry at age seven; continued her mystical writing despite exile and displacement.

Lidiya Alekseeva Devel was born into a military family in Dvinsk, Russia, in 1909. Her family traced its ancestry back to a French émigré from the Napoleonic period. Growing up in the Crimea, Alekseeva began to write poetry at age seven. The advent of Bolshevism disrupted her life and, in 1920, she left Russia for Yugoslavia, where she spent the next two decades. Displaced by the war in 1945, she immigrated once more, in 1949, to the United States.

Alekseeva appeared in print by the time she was in her early 20s. In many ways a traditionalist, she never attempted to create new techniques that did not necessarily enhance the emotional core of a poetic statement. Some of her major themes depicted humans as frightened, lonely pilgrims in the universe, enduring the burdens of freedom in an age alienated from God. Though much of her work expresses despair, strains of optimism appear in her descriptions of the beauty and wisdom of nature. Alekseeva is a significant poet of the Russian literary emigration, whose poetry was held in high regard by her maternal relative, the great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova . Although virtually all of her major work is in verse, Lidiya Alekseeva also published a number of delicately tinted, lyrical prose miniatures.

John Haag , Associate Professor of History, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

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Alekseeva, Lidiya (1909—)

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