Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin (sometimes spelled as Serghei Esenin) was born in Konstantinovo in the Ryazan region of the Russian Empire to a peasant family. He spent most of his childhood in his grandparents' home. He began to write poetry at the age of nine. In 1912, he moved to Moscow where he supported himself working as a proofreader in a printing company. The following year he enrolled in Moscow State University as an external student and studied there for a year and a half. His early poetry was inspired by Russian folklore. In 1915, he moved to St. Petersburg, where he became acquainted with fellow-poets Alexander Blok, Sergei Gorodetsky, Nikolai Klyuev and Andrey Bely. It was in St. Petersburg that he became well known in literature circles. Alexander Blok was especially helpful in promoting Yesenin's early career as a poet. Yesenin said that Bely gave him the meaning of form while Blok and Klyuev taught him lyricism.