Of noble ancestry, Baratynsky was educated at the School of Pages at St. Petersburg. Having been expelled from the school at the age of 16 for stealing, he enlisted as a private in the army. In 1820 the young poet met Anton Delvig, who rallied his falling spirits and introduced him to the literary press. Soon Baratynsky was transferred to Finland, where he remained six years. His first long poem, Eda, written during this period, established his reputation. Through the interest of friends he obtained leave from the tsar to retire from the army, and settled in 1827 in Muranovo near Moscow (now a literary museum). There he continued to write, both lyric verse and longer poems, and in 1842 published his masterpiece, the collection of poems entitled Twilight. He died in 1844 in Naples.