The Collected Poems, 1952-1990

Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Author, Albert Todd, Editor, James Reagan, Editor Henry Holt & Company $29.95 (659p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0696-4
Even poetry aficionados who think they know Yevtushenko's work well will be startled and delighted by this massive volume edited by Todd, professor of Russian literature at Queens College in New York City, and Regan, professor of creative writing at the University of Southern California. The public poet of ``Babi Yar'' and ``Heirs of Stalin'' can be ruthlessly introspective. In lyric after impassioned lyric, the Siberian-born bard flails himself for his own personal failures, which he links to the spiritual failure of Russia. Lean and clean, steely and direct, his best poems speak urgent truths with disarming simplicity. Alongside the platform orator whose verses can seem hasty or superficial we get the beguilingly tender love poet, the maxim-laden folk poet, the seismograph who registers life's slightest shocks with conversational spontaneity. Translators for this compendium--really a ``selected poems'' gathered from Yevtushenko's 43 volumes of verse--include Richard Wilbur, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stanley Kunitz, John Updike. The most recent selections capture the confusion of glasnost (``Half measures can kill''). (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-8050-2378-7
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