- Paperback: 232 pages
- Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center (May 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0996316701
- ISBN-13: 978-0996316705
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #760,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky
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Shortlisted for the Institute of Translation's Read Russia! Prize, 2016
Shortlisted for PEN Translation Award, 2016
National Translation Award Longlist, 2016
"These translations seem most intent on capturing Tarkovsky's simple yet hermetic voice in a contemporary American idiom, one that renders his tortured, haunted, and at times quite mystical worldview comprehensible to our auto-tuned, tone-deaf ears, which prefer free verse and colloquial speech rhythms to the rich and various soundscapes instinctive to Russian verse traditions. Metres, speaking of the much-vaunted failures of translation, writes that they "are not failures between languages as much as a property of language itself" (183). Despite the many shortcomings of our vernacular, though, Metres and Psurtev succeed in fashioning rough-and-ready parallels in a spare, enveloping style gray-lit with despair and revelation. The translations rarely if ever seem sententious or heavy-handed, giving each phrase enough breathing room to ramify and implicate. "Between the lines my fate was burned, " Tarkovsky says, "while my soul sloughed off its skin" (123). Religious and orphic longings abound in Tarkovsky's work, and the translators have succeeded not only in producing the tenuous metaphysical quality of the lines themselves but also in stealing something of the fire that's between them.--DIAGRAM
About the Author
Arseny Alexandrovich Tarkovsky was born in the Ukrainian city of Elisavetgrad (now Kirovohrad) in 1907 and moved to Moscow in 1923, working as a newspaper journalist and publishing his first poems. By the late 1930s, he had become a noted translator of Turkmen, Georgian, Armenian, Arabic, and other Asian poets. During the Second World War, he served as a war correspondent for the Soviet Army publication Battle Alarm from 1942 to 1944, receiving the Order of the Red Star for valor. Tarkovsky's first volume of his own poems, Before the Snow, emerged in 1962, when the poet was 55, and rapidly sold out. His fame widened when his son, the internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, included some of his father's poems in his films. He died in 1989, just before the Soviet Union fell.
Philip Metres is the author or translator of a number of books and chapbooks including SAND OPERA (Alice James Books, 2015), COMPLEAT CATALOGUE OF COMEDIC NOVELTIES: POETIC TEXTS OF LEV RUBINSTEIN (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), A Concordance of Leaves (Diode Press, 2013), abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine Press, 2011), TO SEE THE EARTH (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941 (University of Iowa Press, 2007). His work has garnered two NEA fellowships, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, five Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Anne Halley Prize, the PEN/Heim Translation grant, a Russian Institute for Literary Translation grant, and the Creative Workforce Fellowship. He is a professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland.
Dimitri Psurtsev, a Russian poet and translator of British and American authors, is a professor at Moscow State Linguistic University and lives outside Moscow with his wife Natalia and daughter Anna. His two books of poetry, Ex Roma Tertia and Tengiz Notepad, were published in 2001 by Yelena Pakhomova Press and translations of his poems were published by the Hudson Review in 2009 and 2011. In 2014 Dimitri received, along with Philip Metres, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant for I BURNED AT THE FEAST: SELECTED POEMS OF ARSENY TARKOVSKY.