Selected Poetry (Paperback)
Winner of the 2020 Read Russia Prize
A new collection of Pushkin's great narrative and lyric verse, translated by Antony Wood
A Penguin Classic
Pushkin's The Bronze Horseman, based on the statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg and the great flood of 1824, is widely considered to be his most successful narrative poem, the second most famous poem in Russian literature after his Eugene Onegin, and notoriously difficult to translate. One of the most influential works in Russian literature, it will appeal to readers of Dostoyevsky's The Double, Andrei Biely's Petersburg, Anna Akhmatova's poetry, and the works of Nikolai Gogol. This new translation, described by Robert Chandler as "truly wonderfull," is accompanied here by Pushkin's greatest shorter verses. They range from lyric poetry to narrative verse based on traditional Russian stories of enchanted tsars and magical fish. Together, they show the dazzling range and achievement of Russia's greatest poet.
About the Author
Alexander Pushkin was born in Moscow in 1799. He was exiled for his liberal views on serfdom and autocracy, but this allowed him the freedom to write some of his greatest works, including the novel in verse Eugene Onegin. He died in 1837 after being fatally wounded in a duel.
Antony Wood is an editor and translator from Russian and German, and also runs the publishing house Angel Books.
“Selected Poetry is a modest title, yet the book reaches high. It recounts the poet’s life and works; provides compact, sometimes provocative scholarly commentary for each poem; and glosses every term or name or event that readers might query, thus creating a rich literary, historical and cultural context for individual texts. Wood’s lively translations will not elicit any ripostes that the work is flat. On the contrary, they grasp the irrepressible sense of freedom which is the poet’s hallmark ... Pushkin is lucky in Antony Wood. Pleasure is to be found on every page of this book.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“This Selected Poetry by Anthony Wood supersedes all previous translations of Pushkin’s other verse narratives. Wood’s The Bronze Horseman gives us Pushkin at his most tragic. Count Nulin, a witty parody of Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece, shows him at his most light-hearted. The Tale of Tsar Saltan — one of Pushkin’s verse fairy tales — bounces along with delightful vitality. Even with the delicately musical short lyrics — still harder to translate — Wood’s success rate is remarkable.”
—Robert Chandler, The Financial Times