Intrepid severity so winsome

Pushkin, as a close friend, was bold enough to tell Viazemsky in 1826: ‘Your verse is too clever. Poetry, God forgive me, has to be a bit stupid.’ To this criticism might be added Viazemsky’s refusal to make concessions to melodiousness: he is perhaps the only poet of the Golden Age whose texts no composer was able or willing to set to music.

– Donald Rayfield, “The Golden Age of Russian Poetry” in Routledge Companion to Russ Lit

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