Elena Shvarts is one of Russia's greatest poets. "Birdsong on the Seabed" presents a selection of her most recent poetry. Shvarts has brought out four new collections in Russian since the publication by Bloodaxe in 1993 of "'Paradise': Selected Poems", the first English edition of her poetry and a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation. This new bilingual Russian-English selection also includes some poems not yet been published in Russia. Elena Shvarts stands outside all schools and movements in contemporary Russian poetry. She once famously described poetry as a 'dance without legs'. Her own poetry fits this description perfectly, a combination of deeply rhythmic and lyrical dance with the eccentric, perpetual movement of flight. The world of her poems is strange and grotesque; often the setting is urban, but unrecognisable - towns emptied of the everyday and peopled only by animals, spirits and strange elemental forces.A peculiar religious fervour illuminates these scenes, but her religion is unorthodox and highly individual. Shvarts' poetry is visionary. Her vision takes her to the edge of language and rhythm, and she is one of the few poets who is brave enough to trust her vision absolutely.