Acmeism (2380 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Martin Kich (Wright State University )
Revised By:
  • Justin Francis Doherty (Trinity College Dublin )


Acmeism (from the Greek akme: highest point or culmination) is the name of a poetic movement founded in Russia in 1912 on the initiative of two poets, Nikolai Gumilev and Sergei Gorodetsky. Its members also included two major Russian poets of the first half of the twentieth century, Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelstam [Mandel’shtam]. There were a total of six “official” Acmeist poets, the remaining two more obscure members being Vladimir Narbut and Mikhail Zenkevich.

As an active association of like-minded poets, Acmeism was short-lived: after vigorously promoting the new movement in the autumn of 1912 and early the following year, Gumilev transferred his energies first to an expedition to Africa (his …

Kich, Martin, Justin Francis Doherty. "Acmeism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2005
[, accessed 27 October 2016.]