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Osip Emilevich Mandelstam was born in Warsaw Poland to a wealthy merchant family He spent most of his early life in St Petersburg Moscow where he attended the prestigious Tenishev School 1900-1907 From 1907 to 1910 he traveled to France and Germany studying at the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Heidelberg He studied Philosophy at the University of St Petersburg for six years 1911-1917 He did not graduate from any of the universities he attended Mandelstams career as a poet began in 1910 when his first poems were published in the literary journal Apollon He joined the Poets Guild in 1911 where he became close to poets Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilev His breakout work was Stone published in 1913 It covered mostly apolitical and non-personal subjects and had a strong focus on classical and Byzantine themes His following collections Tristia 1922 and Stikhotvorenia 1928 reflected the classical themes of his earlier work but with a more melancholy tone He also became part of the dissident Acmeist poetry movement Although glad that the Czars were deposed Mandelstam was initially hostile to the October Revolution of 1917 He briefly worked for the Education Ministry in Moscow in 1918 and made frequent trips to south of the Russian Empire He viewed the newer poetry with contempt especially that of Marina Tsvetaeva and Mayakovsky Only Akhmatova and Pasternak still held his favor In 1922 Osip married Nadezhda She was to be his stalwart companion throughout his years of exile and imprisonment During the mid to late 1920s Mandelstam earned his daily bread writing childrens books and translations of Western literature In those years he sought to preserve cultural heritage hoping to follow in the footsteps of Pushkin He gained influential enemies within the Kremlin during this time and tried to escape their reach by traveling to the far reaches of the Soviet Empire His last major work published in 1933 was Journey to Armenia In 1934
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