To renew the wish to live, I remember a waterfall.
It clutches at stones, hangs like a wild grapevine
In a blind homeland of stone letters, stone books-
Here's the one who takes life in totally, perishing every instant.
-from "The Waterfall"For the Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, the work of Aleksandr Kushner was indispensable. "Kushner is one of the best Russian lyric poets of the twentieth century, and his name is destined to rank with those close to the heart of everyone whose mother tongue is Russian."
Kushner's poems are simultaneously deeply traditional in their mastery of form-as well as in their influences, which trace back through the "Silver Age" poets to the rootstock of the Russian lyric-and utterly contemporary in their idiom and way of speaking, a contrast that's often wryly provocative and laced with subtle political protest. The poems in Apollo in the Grass, mostly written after the fall of the Soviet Union speak from a place where the mythic and the historic coexist with the everyday, where Odysseus is one of us, and the "stern voice" of history can transform any public square into a harrowing schoolroom. But these lyrical poems are also pieces of exquisite chamber music, songs where poetry dazzles but "greatness is . . . sooner scaled to the heart / Than to anything very enormous."
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|Size: ||714 KB|
|Publisher: ||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Date published: || 2015|
|ISBN: ||9780374713942 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|
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