New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811215367, 168pp.
Publication Date: April 1, 2003
List Price: 14.95*
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A remarkable poetic account of a man and his daughter. Though relatively unpublished in the Soviet Union until the late 1980's, Gennady Aygi's work has been translated into some twenty languages, and has received major acclaim through many parts of the world. Child-and-Rose is a unique collection of poems and prose chosen and arranged by the author and translator. Taking as its central themes childhood, sleep, and silence in relation to poetic creation, the book is divided into five sections -- "Veronica's Book, " "Sleep-and-Poetry, " "Before and After the Book, " "Silvia's World, " and "Poetry-as-Silence" -- all written between 1972 and 2002. In this collection, each poem is a carefully crafted space of language that surfaces from the heart of a poetic consciousness at "the limits of intelligibility, " as the translator notes. Images of Aygi's Chuvash homeland -- birches, oaks, snow, roses, fields --mix with a disrupted syntax, astonishing turns, gaps, and suspensions that all speak to a quiet stillness of being. Gennady Aygi was born in 1934 in the village of Shaymurzino, in the Chuvash Autonomous Republic, some 500 miles east of Moscow. Due to his ties with Pasternak, Aygi was expelled from the Gorky Literary Institute, and went on to found a society of underground artists in Moscow. He has worked at the Mayakovsky Museum, organizing art exhibitions, although he has lived in poverty for most of his life. He lives in Moscow.
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