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Observation: a very good poet can be a very poor reciter of his own poetry...

Posted 04-26-2010 at 07:38 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
Prince Sergey Volkonski about his home and well-known poets of his youth:

"Very often poets came to our place to recite their poetry. Alexey K. Tolstoy recited his best verses, as well as Yakov P. Polonski* – both were worst possible reciters. Apollon N. Maykov recited his “Three deaths”, “The two worlds” and many other poems. He was a quite brilliant reciter, with clear logical and strikingly artistic declamation."

*Yakov P. Polonski - Russian poet and prosaist....
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Prince Volkonski as Tsvetaeva's Messiah in "The Disciple" poems

Posted 04-14-2010 at 07:22 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
Yesterday, when I was working (again) on Tsvetaeva’s cycle of poems called “The disciple”, a sudden idea crossed my mind, that the addressee of the cycle was a complete mystery to me. It was quite interesting, because of personal spirit of the poems.

According to the cycle, Marina is someone’s devoted disciple, an eager follower, even an apostle. She deeply admires her spiritual leader and worships this unknown person as a god. There are motives of self-denial and self-sacrifice,...
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Akhmatova called it “The Proud Flesh”.

Posted 04-12-2010 at 07:14 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
In 1960-es Russian poetess Anna Akhmatova had a special notebook of most personal and cherished poems of hers, known as “The Cherished Notebook”. As a joke, she called it “The Proud Flesh”. Many of those poems were her deep considerations about personal responsibility of a poet for the epoch he/she destined to live in. Only some of them were included into her last book entitled “The Race of Time” and published, as the poetess decided, that the tough censorship was over.
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