2019. № 1 (19), 67-77

 Petrozavodsk State University


The article reconstructs the story of the existence of “prosaism” of nedonosok ‘prematurely born child’ in the Russian poetry of the 19th–20th centuries. The dictionaries of the 18th century show the direct meaning of the word “prematurely born child”. According to the Russian National Corpus, only 21 occurrences of the word nedonosok ‘prematurely born child’ are recorded in the Russian poetry over three centuries. The nedonosok lex- eme is analyzed on the basis of the lyric works of the first half of the 19th century in terms of figurative semantics, rich associative potential and intertextual «halo». P .A. Vyazemsky started a poetic tradition by the «fragment» «Byron» in 1824–27, that tradition was vividly shown in the poem «Nedonosok» in 1835. The word nedonosok is also used in the song of A. S. Pushkin «Urodilsya ya, bednyi nedonosok...» which wasn’t published before the beginning of the 20th century. Although the poets of the next generation (Merezhkovsky, Mandelshtam, Zabolotsky, etc.) didn’t know each other, they turned out to be more or less close to each other and the center of the figurative paradigm, which is the most famous symbol from Baratynsky’s «Nedonosok» ‘prematurely born child’, by the very fact of the figurative use of the lexeme («marginal» for this lyrics) to increase the semantic volume and expand the associative load of the «non-poetic» word. Baratynsky’s image of the «nedonosok» is so polyphonic, semantically ambiguous and loaded that the shadow of the «Twilight» cycle lays on all of the poetic experiments written by the «poet of thought» Baratynsky, making play of the motif of a prematurely born child if not for the creators then for the readers.