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Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg (Winner, T.S. Eliot Prize, 2007) (New Odyssey Series) First Edition Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1931112710
ISBN-10: 1931112711
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About the Author

Carol V. Davis is the author of two books, It's Time to Talk About and Letters from Prague. Her poems have won numerous awards and she has been featured on National Public Radio and Radio Russia. She was a Fulbright scholar in St. Petersburg in 1996 and 2005. She teaches at Santa Monica College in California.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Odyssey
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Truman State University Press; First Edition edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931112711
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931112710
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,059,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on February 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A young artist I know was telling me about his mother, bragging really, well I would too, if my mother had won the 2007 T S Eliot Prize. Dave couldn't remember what celebrated figure had loaned his name to the award. "Might be the F. Scott Fitzgerald Prize," he offered, his mouth filled with pizza and enthusiasm. It didn't take long to work out that his mother was Carol V. Davis and within a few days I had the book in my hands. Hands which are now forever Russian, thanks to Ms. Davis' unique alchemy and magical gifts.

I take it that Davis' own family heritage intrigued her enough to seek out employment in Russia, which can't have been easy! Her grandparents on one side hailed from St. Petersburg, and to that legendary city she finagled her entire family, three kids included, while she taught Jewish literature and also contemporary American literature and underwent the experiences she writes about in her book, INTO THE ARMS OF PUSHKIN. She starts with simple culture clash, sights, sounds and smells she never had in Los Angeles. Her kids had never even seen snow. A second theme grows out of the first, the way language mirrors and in fact precipitates the clash of nations. Language has its own economy, she discovers, and just as her children, "set adrift in the unknown," depend on her to buy food for the next day's meals, she finds herself--in a moving passage--laying out the words she will need for tomorrow, "laying them on the desk chair with the folded clothes."

Her aim, she insists, is "I want you to know what it is/ to live without language." She is a pilgrim of poetry, inventing herself and reinventing the long history of her grandmother, Anna, and Anna's foremothers before her, whom she may trace all the way back to original ancestors "at the time of Moses.
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Format: Paperback
I was transported! Not an American in Paris (familiar as Gershwin's clarinet) but to St. Petersburg - an exotic, strange land - carried by the poetry of Carol Davis as she struggles
with the Russian language, loneliness, longing, living there with three children for extended periods as a Fulbright scholar. Her images, her imagination, her vivid words - "the deafening snow," "Encircled in the pencil thin canals" - put me there and as she finds solace in Russian music, local birds, identification with the perservering lives and an appreciation for the slow-won loyalties, I felt rewarded by this accomplished work. I can understand why it was given the T.S.Eliot award...well deserved!
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Format: Paperback
Russia is a culture like no other in the world. "Into the Arms of Pushkin: Poems of St. Petersburg" is an anthology of poems from Carol V. Davis, a woman of Russian heritage who has embraced it well with her poetry. A winner of the T.S. Eliot prize, "Into the Arms of Pushkin" is quite the book of poetry, both entertaining and educating about the culture of Russia. "If Now as I Wait for Your Call": you instead climb the three/flights of broken stairs, /careful to avoid the drip/of corroded pipe, a small/lake forming on the ground/floor of this building/slapped together between/the wars in uncertain urgency./Streets still cling to their/Soviet names in a display/of foolish loyalty./If as I open the door/you empty your pockets/of keys and broken strings:/leaving of a life undecided/trailing behind you like/musicians shuffling off stage/in the Unfinished Symphony./And if in the dusk of entryway/your hand reaches me/with the familiarity of dream/I would understand you at last/without burden of translation,/no longer dependent on the/ intercession of angels.
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