Although Sándor Petőfi (1823–1849) may be internationally more famous than Mihály Vörösmarty (1800–1855), it is possible to argue that the older author can be regarded as the most representative poet of Hungarian Romanticism, who in his best lyrics has a force that not even Petőfi could attain. Petőfi™s descriptive and humorous poems could be characterized as representing a Biedermeier reaction against the sublimity of the most important works of the older poet, but it would be a distortion to deny that some of Petőfi's finest lyrics the cycle of epigrams called Felhők (Clouds, 1845–46) or the longer poem Tündérálom (Fairy Dream, 1846) show the decisive influence of Vörösmarty's Romanticism. In any case, Vörösmarty is an author who cannot be neglected in any international history of Romantic poetry.
The paper intends to present the general tendency of lexical change in Russian lyrical po- etry during the last two hundred years on some arbitrarily selected examples. The odes of Lomonosov were accomplished in the lofty style based on Slavonic, rhetorical, and other “poetical” devices. In Derzhavin’s ode Felica, enthusiastic and ironical elements, pathos and everyday talk are combined. In Zhukovski’s romantic poetry the objective sense of words is overshadowed by their emotive overtones. In avoiding the grandiloquent romantic lexis, Nekrasov describes the hopeless hard life of Russian peasantry with deep sympathy, and reliably reproduces the popular speech. In the cited poem of Akhmatova, the psychic drama of the heroine is expressed by a peculiar connection of words belonging to different stylistic layers. The entirely prosaic lexis and syntax of Blok’s short poem suggests the poet’s feeling about the hopeless immobility of life in a condensed metaphoric shape. Vino- kurov’s poem relates an imagined accidental meeting of former lovers after thirty years of their separating in an entirely colloquial style. Since a poem of genuine aesthetic value appears as a complex artistic work, its components mutually strengthen, supplement, or compensate each other. Thus, the increase of colloquial elements in the poetic vocabulary does not necessarily indicate a process of “depoetization”.