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National Center for Law and Deaf, Author, Elena Balashova, Translator, Lyn Hejinian, Translator
National Center for Law and Deaf, Author, Elena Balashova, Translator, Lyn Hejinian, Translator Sun and Moon Press $11.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55713-075-4
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
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The works in this first English-language publication by the Soviet poet are descriptions of his perceptions in words that have little relation to their affixed meanings. The poet believes that words ought not define ``how our knowledge should exist'' because language cannot tell the whole story--it is the silence, or emptiness, between words that represents the way we see the world. In one poem Dragomoschenko advises, ``Don't talk about grass. / If you simply mention birds, like wine they're sure to appear.'' In another, the poet refers to the mouth, the sayer of language, as ``that disembodied / brother of the forehead, / of dry contemplation / in seeds of inaudible ignorance like a net / set to destroy the mind caught in stagnant meaning.'' Dragomoschenko's poems are often laced with maddening snippets of his poetic theory: ``What / is being written is unwritten, approaching completion. / What is written--it's incomplete, perpetually / approaching completion.'' One may get some sensory satisfaction from these exercises, but for the most part, each poem is an intellectual chore, and not a very rewarding one at that. (May)
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