Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle Reading App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Frequently Bought Together
Andrey Kneller is a Russian-born poet/translator. Andrey was 10 years old when his family immigrated from Moscow, Russia to New York in 1993. He grew up reading and speaking Russian fluently. At fourteen, he started writing his own poetry and not long after that, he started translating his favorite Russian poets into English. Understanding that Russian poets have been represented rather poorly in the west, the goal of translation for him has always been to keep as much of the original as possible, preserving meaning without losing rhyme and music. At the present, he has published 9 books of translations, including the works of Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Vladimir Mayakovsky, among others, and Discernible Sound, a book of his own poetry. Andrey currently lives with his wife and daughter in Ashland, MA and works as a high school math teacher in Boston.
I've been interested in reading Tsvetaeva's poetry for some time now, with little success. Her Selected Poems (Tsvetaeva, Marina) (Twentieth-Century Classics) were disappointing, my frustration the result of not knowing if my ambivalence was a function of translator or poet. Andrey Kneller provides the answer I was searching for.
First, a remark about translating poetry - as Kneller writes in the introduction, poetry is ridiculously difficult to translate: "(translators) focus so much on word choice and literal meaning that in the end all of the supporting details are lost, and the reader is left with a skeleton of what used to be a beautiful poem. This is not a *translation*, this is a *transgression*." Towards these ends, Kneller has made a noble effort to both "preserve details, without losing sight of the big picture. Meter, rhyme, line length - al these elements are essential in understanding the complexity and beauty of Marina Tsvetaeva's work." He has brilliantly succeeded with the collection here.
The collection is dual-language, as those with even a passing familiarity with Russian will be able to get a sense of the work. The English translations are excellent as well, as meter and especially rhyme are preserved, while still maintaining the overall poetic sensability. This is no easy feat, and I am very impressed with Kneller's work. In fact, his translation is why I give the book a 5-star review rather than 3 or 4 stars.Read more ›
Having first encountered Tsvetaeva's heady poetry in college, I was pleased to receive "My Poems" as a Goodreads giveaway. After reading five poems, I felt it necessary to alert fellow readers to Andrey Kneller's remarkable translation: we have someone special here.
Kneller, himself a poet, captures Tsvetaeva's passion and discipline, her voice and intent. His translation is clear and precise while keeping the music and rapture of the original.
As part of my (re)immersion in Russian Silver Age poetry, I'm also reading Kneller's selections from Akhmatova ("Final Meeting") and Pasternak ("February"). In these books, Kneller channels their intelligence and sensitivity.
Take note of this young poet and translator who transmits the beauty and power of these Russian poets with imagination, integrity and understanding.
[Correction: I received the paperback edition, not the Kindle.]
Was this review helpful to you?
Tsvetaeva is one of those hidden gems for most people in the west. Compared often times to Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva even in translation maintains her edge. This makes for superb "breakup reading" and also material when on the mend. Quite a few people can only handle small doses. This edition is a perfect compliment to any book shelf.
Was this review helpful to you?
I bought this edition primarily because the reviews hyped this new translation. I was disappointed by the translation - it may be competent but poetic or lyrically creative it was not. I'm sorry to be so critical, but I ended up comparing this translation with Feinstein's (also not the greatest, I thought), and asking more qualified "reviewers" (Russian speakers, ideally Russian speaking lit professors) and found a third solution. Translation is tricky and will never be a substitute or equivalent of the original. I know that.
I won't add much to what others have said. Great stuff. A side-by-side with other translations shows Andrei to have all the poetic skill needed to make such translations come alive. Others have done that, though. But Kneller does it while maintaining Tsvetaeva's quirky start/stop rhythms, which is one of the main ways she has of emphasizing meanings and affects. Yet it all flows and is monumentally readable.
Drawbacks? A few of my favorite poems aren't here.
The life of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva reads like a microcosm of the tragedy that befell Russia in the first half of the 20th century. Born in 1892 in Moscow to an upper class family, she married fairly young, only to have her firstborn child, a son, raised by her in-laws, with her husband’s concurrence. Two daughters followed.
She published her first book of poems when she was 18, and she was something of an overnight literary sensation. She continued to publish, and then came World War I and the Russian Revolution. Her husband, Sergei Efron, joined the White Army during the Russian civil war. During the great Moscow famine in 1919, she placed her daughters in a state orphanage; one of them died of starvation. Three years later, the family fled Russia and eventually settled in Paris. They lived in poverty; her husband found work as an agent for the Soviet secret police.
Returning to Russia in 1939, her husband was arrested and executed, and her surviving daughter was sent to a labor camp. She and her son fled eastward as the German armies invaded Russia. In August, 1941, Marina Tsvetaeva committed suicide.
What she left behind was her poetry, poems full of passion, emotion and yearning, poems about love and the devastation of a country, and devastation of a life.
“In the Winter” is from a collection of selected poems entitled “My Poems,” translated and published in 2011 by poet Andrey Kneller.
The bells again break the silence, Waiting with remorse… Only several streets divide us, Only several words! A silver sickle lights the night, The city sleeps this hour, The falling snowflakes set alight The stars upon your collar. Are the sores of the past still aching? How long do they abide?Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?