Apr 242015
 
Sophia Parnok (older)

Sophia Parnok (older)

sophia-parnokShe has the distinction of being Russia’s only openly lesbian poet during the Silver Age. Over the course of her lifetime, Sophia Parnok, born in 1885, produced five volumes of poetry and had a number of affairs with women.

Sophia Parnok recognized her affinity for the company of women early in her life, both romantically and creatively. At the age of 20, she left for Geneva with her first lover but had to return to her disapproving father’s home when she ran out of money. To escape her father’s rule again, she opted to marry a friend who was also a poet. It was during this time she began publishing some of her poems in journals.
A few years later in 1909, she risked social and financial security by leaving her husband. After the divorce, she moved to Moscow and was able to support herself by working as a translator, journalist, opera librettist, and poet. Soon she was in a new relationship — with the poet Marina Tsvetaeva. The pair influenced each other greatly and at the end of that romance, Parnok published her first book, Poems.
She would go on to have more lovers before she settled with Nina Vedeneyeva for the remainder of her life. Despite her transgressive content and woman-centred contribution to Russian verse, Parnok’s life and work is still relatively unknown.

Sophia Parnok (older)

Sophia Parnok (older)

Russia’s great lesbian poet, Sophia Parnok’s last poems from the early 1930s were inspired by her final love affair with physicist Nina Vedeneyeva.

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