This article offers an analysis of Boleslaw Lesmian's cycle of poems called 'The Songs of the Archwise Vassilissa'. They were written in Russian and published in 1906. The interpretation focuses on the term '(fairy) tale' and the paradoxical phrase 'holy unlove'. The Songs, it appears, are a declaration of the poet's beliefs about the nature of being and the nature of poetic creativity, typified by the song and the (fairy) tale. The cycle's metapoetic themes are developed on the levels of ontology, epistemology, and theory of poetry. Its poems are also closely linked with folk poetry, ie. the Russian bylinas.The article also examines the structure of the cycle and Lesmian's artistic devices which range from choice metaphors and the recurrent symbols of gold, the sun and fire, to semantic paradoxes and striking concretizations or anthromorphizations of objects and states of the lyrical subject. The analysis draws on the Russian symbolists, whose poetics was close to that of Lesmian's, and the theories of W. Soloviov.
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