An Age Ago

Alan Myers, Other
Alan Myers, Other Farrar Straus Giroux $20 (171p) ISBN 978-0-374-10442-9
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
This newly translated anthology of 11 19th-century Russian poets will both delight and educate readers interested in Russian literature and history. The poems are accessible today primarily because they focus on such universal metaphysical and private issues as love, time, aging, jealousy, war, nature and death. Lyrical, strictly structured with traditional rhyme schemes and meters, the verse is an unusual combination of Romantic language and subject matter and rational theory stemming from the Age of Enlightenment. The anthology balances political, philosophical and personal poems nicely, and the selections complement each other, displaying the individual styles of the authors as well as their common concerns. The poets represented range from the well-known Aleksandr Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov to the less familiar (to Americans) Prince Vyazemsky and Nikolai Yazykov. The translation is skillful, retaining both the formal aspects of the original verse and its colloquialisms. Brief biographies of the authors are included. This fine anthology is marred only by its slimness: enticed readers will wish for a more comprehensive selection. (July)
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