Balmont, Konstantin (БАЛЬМОНТ, КОНСТАНТИН) (1867–1942) By Forrester, Sibelan
Russian poet, translator, novelist, essayist, polyglot, traveler, and travel writer. In the early years of the Symbolist movement Balmont was perhaps the best-known living Russian poet, representing the promise of Symbolism as a poetic school. His musical verse offered Decadent and other fashionable themes in rich metrical forms and intoxicating prosody. He published twenty-nine books of poetry in his lifetime, though the later emergence of new movements (Acmeism, Futurism) and his own prolific production and willingness to publish work of varying quality damaged his reputation with critics. He is also extremely important in Russian culture as a translator, especially of poets such as Poe, Shelley, and Whitman.