The Collected Works 1952-1990
This volume is a mirror image of the English translation; each page begins and ends with the same line. This makes it very valuable to readers who would like to compare the translations, as well to understand the original meaning of a poem.
This 720-plus page volume does not cover the entire poetic work of Yevgeny Yevtushenko until 1990, but it comes close. His most memorable poems are here and the translation is excellent. Yevtushenko is capable of writing good, even great poetry, from different perspectives. He was, for most of his life, a convinced socialist, a man who really believed in the “human face” of socialism and even in that catchy word “internationalism” that the old autocrats in the Kremlin liked so much.
Life seems to have made it very plain to him that the dream had always been a nightmare. But his poems are still here and one of the reasons why Yevtushenko hasn’t been swept away like many other poets. He believed in socialism, but he could write “Russian Tanks in Prague” and tell the truth about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
This historial poem “Babii Yar,” also included in this book. It is an ode to the Jews murdered by the Nazis in a ravine, and violated a second time by the Soviets who covered up the crime because the Moscow government was deeply anti-Semitic.
Yevtushenko is far more accessible than some of the more modern Russian poets, but accessibility does not mean less quality. On the contrary, his poetry is clear, honest, passionate, direct, and articulate.
720 pages; limited and numbered edition – hardcover