In the article two poems on the emperor Paul I written by N.Ya. Agnivtsev and P.G. Antokolsky are considered in comparative aspect. The art historicism of two poets, its forms and ways of expression in the poetic text became a subject of the study. The poems reflect the aspiration of two authors to sum up the results of the Russian history, to comprehend catastrophism peculiar to it, to realize the place in it. Agnivtsev remains in the past – in Russia pre-revolutionary. According to it closer to him there is such form of historicism as «retrospectivism», and such «historical feeling» as nostalgia. Antokolsky sympathized with the revolutionary ideas from 1900th, and his assessment of the czarist regime, in particular governments of the emperor Paul and his personality, was more severe and hard. He actively uses satire and grotesque, and his historical consciousness is aimed at a gap with the past and directed in the future; its historicism anticipates the progressivist concept of historicism of the Soviet literature. The art historicism of two poems found interesting verse expression. Both works belong to narrative lyrics, are connected with a ballad genre. At the same time Agnivtsev «operates» a traditional Nekrasovʼs three feet anapaest with satirical, household and folk thematic trends. Antokolsky addresses the rare superlong size – eight feet trochee, trying to use its semantics, apparently. It is connected, on the one hand, with the translation of E. Poeʼs «Raven» by K. Balmont, i. e. with romantic mysticism; on the other – with the ancient epos, «an Indo-European line» (Vl. Pyast), i. e. with long ago past. Such device – manifestation of art historicism, – as «staging of history» pulls together two poets.
Emperor Paul I, N. Ya. Agnivtsev, P. G. Antokolsky, comparative studies, historicism, retro, historical theme, Russian poetry of the Silver Age, theatricality, semantics of a meter.