New poetry books – Weekend – Kommersant
Konstantin Levin "Recognition"
The first, as far as possible, complete collection of the poet Konstantin Levin. Born in 1924 in Dnepropetrovsk, Levin was a little younger than the Iflian poets - Slutsky, Samoilov, Kulchitsky, Kogan, but essentially belonged to the same wave - aesthetically formed by the Tikhonov-Selvinsky-Pasternak line, and vitally - by the experience of war. An extremely brave young commander of an artillery platoon, he did not fight for long, lost a leg and walked on a prosthesis. After the war, he entered the Literary Institute and immediately became a star there - primarily thanks to the poem "We were buried by artillery." However, after a couple of years, Levin fell under the campaign against cosmopolitanism, was expelled for decadent moods, and this experience seems to have broken him - including creatively. For the rest of the years (Levin died of cancer in 1984), he worked as a literary consultant in a publishing house, continued to write, occasionally showed poems to friends, but never tried to publish them. These late, clever and witty texts no longer have the brilliance of his 1940s stuff. The latter are really great. The paradox of Levin's early poems is that this is obviously Soviet poetry, both in style and in mentality. However, this seemingly fundamentally limited in means "permitted" language acquires in him a virtuoso, tragic freedom.
“Now my comrades in Berlin are dancing Linda. / My comrades are sitting in Hungarian taverns. / But there are still comrades in disabled cars / With articulated knees and sticks in their hands. / Now my comrades, platoon commanders and battalion commanders - / Each has a Lenin and a Golden Star - / The guys go to the anti-tank profession, / The guys from the desperate OIPTD. / They all got spurs somewhere, they ring along Friedrichstrasse, / They go along Red Square as chased combatants. / And I'm sitting near Gomel, with a bison on the terrace, / And I send them congratulations by field mail "
Vera Markova "While the Earth Stands"
Ivan Limbakh Publishing House
This volume is a rare occasion when a truly great poet suddenly emerges from almost complete obscurity. A japanist, translator of Basho, Sei-Syonagon, Akutagawa, Vera Markova was an important figure for the Soviet 1960s-1970s - a person who largely created the cult of Japan - and especially medieval Japan - among the Soviet intelligentsia. In addition, Markova translated and published the entire poetic legacy of Emily Dickinson. Few knew that she had been writing poetry throughout her very long life (1907-1995). Markova did not try to publish in the official press, but did not seek to contact the underground either. Any modern context was, in general, alien to her. In part, she lived in dialogue with the Russian Silver Age - Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Pasternak. However, in the best texts of Markova, one feels not an imitation of a beloved bygone era, but a mood for another - more time, sensitivity to momentary signs of the eternal. Both Dickinson and Basho, whose translations are included in the book, make perfect allies here. Their influence partly balances each other: metaphysics and observation, introspection and detachment, a delightful sense of rhythm and freedom from it, high anxiety and reconciliation - the combination of these extremes gives Markova a language unlike any other, for the perception of which fine tuning of hearing is necessary.
“The wind from across the river, / Like the voice of a teenager, / Breaks into a cock's note. // I look: / A low reed / Again reached out to my cheek / And on the wet pliable sand / The foot left a child's footprint. // He is eternal, like a footprint on the moon"
Sergey Zavyalov "Odes: 1984-1990"
publishing house Rugram_Palmyra
Sergey Zavyalov is probably the most interesting modern Russian epic poet, the author of complex compositions that combine deep spiritual content, Marxist historical analysis and bizarre musical polyphony. Having come to his mature manner, Zavyalov fundamentally refused to publish early texts, but now, many years later, he has returned to them. By education, he is a classical philologist, and this is perfectly felt in Zavyalov's poems: in size, in images, but more - in their very nature. They are often fragmented, like fragments of ancient texts that have not come down to us. But even those that look quite solid, seem to be monuments of literature of some antiquity. This antiquity has many guises: antiquity, biblical times, the Mordovian Middle Ages (Mordovian identity is an important part of Zavyalov's poetics). However, the Soviet 1980s also seem to Zavyalov not a profane reality torn off from sacred antiquity, but another incarnation of this seemingly non-historical time - an era filled with quiet secret signs. Part of the same work on stitching together times are translations of Horace's odes, which make up the second half of the book. Zavyalov refuses to imitate the ancient meters, translates them into free verse, throws out part of the mythological vocabulary in order to minimize the exotic sound and present the Horatius odes as if we are contemporaries of their author.
“autumn / waiting for the rains dry leaf fall / hard asphalt and the splashing of the night canal / the world-crash heard just don’t catch it / its tiring rhythm // smile / and mascara on swollen eyelids / dirty soldier’s uniform / teenagers light a cigarette and laugh out loud / they have workers’ hands / / listen to yourself no more / be with them / in a world // where everything is fine"
Evgenia Suslova "Water and the answer: a novel in verse
publishing house New Literary Review
In the generation of poets who came to Russian literature in the second half of the 2000s, Evgenia Suslova represented the extreme flank - the utmost complexity, intellectualism. Philosophical traditions from French postmodernism to Eastern mysticism, linguistics and biology, mathematics and political thought, all merged into an extremely hermetic language. But Suslova's poetry is not cold speculation, but, on the contrary, writing is extremely sensual. Simply, according to Suslova, in order to capture modern sensory experience, passion and fear, one needs not inspiration, but a complex, multi-stage apparatus. The new Suslov book has two genre designations: "novel in verse" and "technical instruction". These genres push each other aside - impulsive speeches turn into cold reports and vice versa. Together, it turns out something like a science fiction treatise novel - a little in the spirit of Lem. Its plot: the story of the gospel Annunciation, unfolding as a kind of cybernetic experiment, conducted by characters named neutral agent I and neutral agent II. Writing a novel-poem is like bearing a fetus. Both represent participation in the formation of the most complex structure - and at the same time an act of love.
“Remain calm: / the sun is divided between thoughts, / and we create a new heart for them. // Momentary organs collapse so quickly / to overcome the obstacle. // The network is where, connecting, / the simple repeats the simple, / without knowing it. // Wherever you are / inside my tiniest thought / you're safe"
Varvara Nedeoglo "Russian girls end up with free land"
publishing house Asebia
Several texts from the St. Petersburg poetess Varvara Nedeoglo included in the book were published last year on the Internet and have become one of the most notable events in recent Russian-language poetry. "Russian-speaking" - maybe not quite the right word. A fairly large part of the book is written in a language that Nedeoglo herself calls Exorusian. Habitual letters are replaced in it with all the icons available to the printing house, so that the eye stumbles, the text seems unpronounceable and at the same time seems to appeal to an inarticulate yell. This technique immediately reminds of futuristic poetry, and indeed the texts of Nedeoglo obviously belong to the avant-garde line. But, unlike the usual writing, which refers to the tradition of avant-garde art, there is neither stylization nor resentment in them - sadness about the impossibility of revolution - both in words and in social space. The premise of these verses is: All things are possible. Poetry itself can become not a reminder or inspiration, but a radical action - a Harms stone that breaks windows, a challenge to the order of language and power, a declaration of war on accessible - and therefore fatally insufficient - ways to believe and love. These poems are written from the point of catastrophe and answer the question: is poetry possible after everything that has happened and is happening? Nedeoglo's answer: yes, but it is necessary to increase its stakes to the very limit.
“...ȻҎДЏЄ М̥ ОẼ ϚӁА̥ԈȰȻъ ҜÂҠ̧ / ƁO̊ ѮP̧ḀŦĦA̅̊ I ∏P̊У̊ӁИḨÅ̧ // when there is no hope left, it can only / feel in your mouth with your tongue / and so much the better for you if it is someone else's mouth / but then even if there is no other person's mouth SUOI // I̯̊ ƀ ƀot̩ ů m̥ ȩ̕ԋya ϛt̯ ầλ̂ ₮ ₮ ҝ ҝ ҝ ҝ ҝ ҝ ҝ ҝ ∏ԓầƀԓɇӈԋ ∏ԓầƀԓɇӈԋ ∏ԓầƀԓɇӈԋy̅ ếa ế ѯak̅̊ ӈ ӈ ӈ ӈo̅yџyџy и ԋ ԋa̅p pl ... "" "
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