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Between 1907 and 1923, the Russian Symbolist poet Konstantin Balmont published, in five different books, three versions of a poem written after a Mesopotamian incantation recently deciphered. First used in 1907 to support an aesthetic theory about the «meaning of race in art», then integrated into a collection of ancient texts, the poem was reused once more to illustrate the magical power of music and words. Multiplying publications, each time taking a renewed presentation, Balmont uses the incantaion for different purposes.

Focusing on the details which the author paid a great attention, this article aims to link the different published versions of this poem later set to music by Sergei Prokofiev, in order to highlight similarities as well as differences, to invest the knowledge of the poet about Mesopotamian religion, to glimpse its aesthetic concerns, and so better understand the bond between the poet and the composer.

Prokofiev et la littérature
Nicolas Moron
Université Jean Monnet, St Etienne
Genèse et publications de l'incantation Sept, ils sont sept de Konstantin Balmont