Alexander Polezhayev

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Alexander Ivanovich Polezhayev
The Works (1892) illustration, Leipzig
Born (1804-09-11)11 September 1804
Penza Governorate, Russian Empire
Died 28 January 1838(1838-01-28) (aged 33)
Moscow, Russian Empire
Education Moscow University
Period 1825-1838
Genre Poetry
Subject Political and social satire
Notable works Sashka (1826)

Alexander Ivanovich Polezhayev (Russian: Алекса́ндр Ива́нович Полежа́ев, 11 September [o.s. 30 August] 1804, v.Pokryshkino, Penza Governorate, Russian Empire, - 28 [o.s. 16] January 1838, Moscow, Russian Empire), was a controversial Russian poet, best known for his satirical poem Sashka which in 1826 resulted in his being demoted to the Russian Army in the Caucasus, by a special decree of Nicolas I who saw this daring challenge as a continuation of the Decembrist revolt. Polezhayev continued to write satires (describing the Russian Tsar as 'a hangman' and 'an Emperor corporal') and in the early 1830s became close to the radicals, one of whom, Alexander Hertzen, later remembered him with great warmth in his book of memoirs My Past and Thoughts. A volatile and rebellious character prone to heavy drinking, Polezhayev got involved in a series of incidents, the last of which resulted in his being punished by flogging so severe, fragments of twigs had to be extracted surgically form his back. After that, in the course of several months, Alexander Polezhayev fell ill with tuberculosis and died.[1]

"Polezhayev's fate was of a peculiar, I'd say proto-Soviet kind. The Tsarist army became his GULAG," wrote poet and Russian poetry historian Yevgeny Yevtushenko.[2]


  1. "Alexander Polezhayev". Retrieved 2014-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Yevtushenko, Yevgeny (2004). "…И царь враждой своей почил". Novaya Gazeta. Retrieved 2014-01-13.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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