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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, as a majority of Russian-speaking people, cannot overstate the treasure given to us by Vladimir Vysotsky (or by G-d himself?). I bought this book for my daughter who speaks two languages, and for her husband who learned only few funny words in Russian. I doubted that anybody can translate Vysotsky without losing strength and harmony of his poetry. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this translation didn't irritate me. Moreover, I am very grateful for opportunity to enjoy reading Vysotsky once again and this time in both languages.
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It is often said that books are best read in their original language. I strongly agree with this when it comes to the Russian poetry. However the author/translator of this book has done such a brilliant work with translation, tone, rhyme and poetic flow that reading these poems in English has been as pleasant, as it has in Russian.