DARK ELDERBERRY BRANCH: POEMS OF TSVETAEVA
(CO-TRANSLATED WITH JEAN VALENTINE; Alice James Books)
Dark Elderberry Branch is magic.” —W.S. Merwin
FROM THIS LAMENTABLE CITY (BY POLINA BARSKOVA, EDITED & CO-TRANSLATED BY ILYA KAMINSKY, Tupelo Press, Vermont, 2010)
“Words flicker — strange, elegant — a Russian evanescence. Heat lightning pulses between her lines.”
-- Dana Jennings, The New York Times
"Barskova is a poet whose voice is at once so intimate and taunting, it can be almost impossible to resist her. Kaminsky’s translation allows Barskova’s brusque, plainspoken Russian to shine through...Barskova’s is a voice of stunning originality and eroticism."
FROM TRAVELING MUSICIANS, (BY POLINA BARSKOVA, EDITED & CO-TRANSLATED BY ILYA KAMINSKY, Yunost Publishers, Moscow, 2006).
Lavishly mordant, magically bitter, erotically sardonic, the poems of This Lamentable City plant themselves on the far side of history's hopelessness, where sometimes even a trace of love springs. Ilya Kaminsky's free translations are a live-wire joy to read.
-- Alicia Ostriker
Polina Barskova's work emerges from an intelligence and a sensibility in which poetry matters, and not only to poets. These poems arise from a confluence of history and lyric: fraught with danger but vibrant with inquiry. Taut, lively translations that earn their place as poems in English. -- Marilyn Hacker
Department of English and Comparative Literature
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182