Poems
ISBN: 1950319245
EAN13: 9781950319244
Language: English
Release Date: Jul 9, 2020
Pages: 104
Dimensions: 0.24" H x 8" L x 5.25" W
Weight: 0.39 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

Osip Mandelstam's is one of the dozen luminous names in Russian poetry. Mandelstam (1891-1938) began as one of the more original poets of the Russian avant-garde before the First World War, but his extraordinary growth as a poet over the next quarter-century set him a great distance apart from almost all of his contemporaries. By the 1930s he was writing the most memorable poems in the language. This collection includes translations of 50 poems by Mandelstam, mostly from the 1930s, along with an extended commentary on the poems and on Mandelstam's poetics.

In English, Mandelstam has long been better appreciated for his biography than for his poetry. This is unfortunate: to his Russian admirers, the value of Mandelstam's poetry owes nothing to whatever might be the value of his biography. These translations and the afterword that accompanies them attempt to remedy that prevailing misvaluation.

The translations were guided by the belief that the most important thing about a poem is neither its meaning nor its sound, but whatever in it makes its readers memorize it. Accordingly, they aim to capture some of the re-readability of the originals, with the hope of making English-language versions of Mandelstam's poems that at least point to that which invites memorization in his work, and which in the best cases may be memory-worthy in their own right.

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