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Love Poems (Alma Classics) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Alma Classics Ltd; 01 edition (1 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847493009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847493002
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.3 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'When asked for a handful of poetic geniuses of my heart and choice, I would never omit Pushkin s name.' --Thomas Mann

About the Author

Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) was a dramatist and poet, penning such influential works as Eugene Onegin and Boris Godunov. He is now considered the father of modern Russian literature.

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By Lost John TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Dec. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pushkin's poetry is revered in Russia and always has been, yet he and his very considerable body of work have for the most part failed to gain a following in the English-speaking world. Unfamiliar names (Bakhchisaray anyone?),* Pushkin's propensity sometimes to offend 'polite' sensitivities, and the reading public having long ago lost its taste for Byronic verse have no doubt all played their part. However, as new translations such as this come forward, I increasingly feel an important part of Pushkin's neglect is that he has not in the past been well-served by his translators.

Roger Clarke's new, revised edition of Love Poems is excellent, and will surely help to advance the Pushkin cause. It presents more than a hundred poems, but that is no more than a quarter of Pushkin's total output of short poems, so there are potentially three times as many still to come, plus the majority of the longer, narrative poems and fairy tales.

This book does pay some attention to a couple of the longer works; a substantial part of the Epilogue of The Fountain of Bakhchisaray is included, as is the whole Epilogue to Ruslan and Lydmila. But that's it from the more-extended pieces, at least for the moment.

The translation and the finished English verses are first class. The English verse is mostly both rhymed and set to particular poetic metres, as was most of the Pushkin original. In his Editor's Note, Roger Clarke writes interestingly on those and related matters, and the problems they bring for the translator.

Besides the Editor's Note, there is a 4500-word potted biography of Pushkin. That, along with Notes and Commentary on the poems, helps place the poems in context (they are arranged chronologically within the book).
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Really good publication
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The Mrs loves it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 12 Feb. 2015
By sayed alamy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
excellent
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty to muse on 4 Dec. 2014
By Lost John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Pushkin's poetry is revered in Russia and always has been, yet he and his very considerable body of work have for the most part failed to gain a following in the English-speaking world. Unfamiliar names (Bakhchisaray anyone?),* Pushkin's propensity sometimes to offend 'polite' sensitivities, and the reading public having long ago lost its taste for Byronic verse have no doubt all played their part. However, as new translations such as this come forward, I increasingly feel an important part of Pushkin's neglect is that he has not in the past been well-served by his translators.

Roger Clarke's new, expanded edition of Love Poems is excellent, and will surely help to advance the Pushkin cause. It presents more than a hundred poems, but that is no more than a quarter of Pushkin's total output of short poems, so there are potentially three times as many still to come, plus the majority of the longer, narrative poems and fairy tales.

This book does pay some attention to a couple of the longer works; a substantial part of the Epilogue of The Fountain of Bakhchisaray is included, as is the whole Epilogue to Ruslan and Lydmila. But that's it from the more extended pieces, at least for the moment.

The translation and the finished English verses are first class. The English verse is mostly both rhymed and set to particular poetic meters, as was most of the Pushkin original. In his Editor's Note, Roger Clarke writes interestingly on those and related matters, and the problems they bring for the translator.

Besides the Editor's Note, there is a 4500-word potted biography of Pushkin. That, along with Notes and Commentary on the poems, helps place the poems in context (they are arranged chronologically within the book). However, the introduction warns against seeking too diligently for autobiographical aspects in the love poems, or for specific identification of Pushkin's dedicatees.

Pushkin is well capable of writing a poem comparing the object of his love to a rainbow, a rose and to spring water (Tуманский прав, когда так верно вас, translated here as Comparisons), also of bringing in metaphysical features (Ты видел деву на скале, A Storm), but some of his finest poems are intensely internal, as in Простишь ли мне ревнивые мечты (Jealous Love). In that poem, fluent, even fervent, expression of the conscious and unconscious workings of his own mind reveals an unusually well-developed self-knowledge. We see it again in Калмычке (For a Kalmyk Girl). With reference to the subject matter of that poem, it may be that almost nothing really happened. (At most, he and a girl he briefly observed at a post station, the early 19th century Russian equivalent of a truck stop, exchanged sheep's eyes for half an hour, even though he knew she would be a total misfit in St Petersburg or Moscow.) But it gave rise to a fine poem and much self-revelation. Pushkin concludes, in Roger Clarke's translation,

My friends, it surely makes no difference
whether you let your feelings range
in soirées, theatres, bright and smart,
or in a nomad's covered cart.

There's something to muse on, and in this book there is plenty more. Enjoy!

* To aid correct pronunciation, in this and his other recent published translations, Roger Clarke provides stress marks on multisyllabic proper nouns; e.g. Bakhchisaráy. Every little helps, as the advertising slogan has it.
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