Photograph of Russian poet and critic Osip Mandelstam.

Osip Mandelstam

(1891 - 1938)

Born the son of a Jewish leather merchant and an accomplished pianist in 1891, Osip Mandelstam published his first book of poems, Stone, in 1913, around the same time that he and Anna Akhmatova became associated with the Acmeist school of poetry. On May 13, 1934, the Soviet secret police seized him and searched his apartment—it is believed they were looking for this poem—and he was sentenced to three years’ exile in the Urals. He was arrested again in 1938; authorities reported his death at the end of that year. 

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