2022. № 4 (34), 222-244

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Tver State University


The object of our study is the semantics of the Sapphic stanza, oriented at the recon- struction of the original antic model (without rhymes). Despite its chronological remote- ness from the Russian poetry of the XVIII–XXI centuries, this logaoedic quatrain sustains links with antic themes, topics, style. There are three stages in the process of adaptation of the Sapphic stanza by the Russian poets: the beginning of the XVII century, “The Silver Age”, the beginning of the XXI century. All these epochs are deeply rooted in the “his- torical mode of the aesthetic perception” (M. L. Gasparov). It means that the verse forms, when perceived by the poet or a well-read reader, bear the memory of the time when they first appeared. The examples given in the article are motivated by the correlation of the tradition and the experiment with the stanza form. The contents of the poem composed in antic logaoedics and stanzas demands mobilization of adequate stylistic means, resembling translation from either Old Greek or Old Latin. Sappho’s quatrains direct the reader to the roots of the European poetic culture, even if no antic realia are represented in the text. By the very fact of choosing the classic stanza form a poet commissions himself or herself to fulfill the creative potential of the form. Thus the Sapphic stanza guarantees the continuity of the poetic tradition, helping to convey and preserve the cultural memory.