This book is a selection of 150 poems, newly translated into English. It includes analysis of the father/son and poet/film-maker relationship and reveals new insights to Andrei Tarkovsky’s film work.
Andrei Tarkovsky is widely regarded as one of the most significant filmmakers of modern times. Fundamental to his practice are the poems of his father, Arsenii. While only seven poems are recited in the films, the verses resonate through every one, offering levels of meaning which lie hidden to the unknowing eye. For the first time this book presents not only accurate and beautiful renditions of these poems in English, but also a penetrating and illuminating presentation of the creative relationship between father and son.
Arsenii Tarkovsky’s first collection of poems appeared in 1962, the year his son was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for his first feature film, Ivan’s Childhood. The first film to include his father’s poems was Mirror, and to many viewers they came as a revelation; in the days of censorship, much of the poet’s work was unpublished. While his son’s place in film history is acknowledged world-wide, Arsenii Tarkovsky is still little-known outside Russia beyond the verses heard in Andrei’s films.
Selected either because of their relevance to the films or simply through personal choice, the 150 poems explore such universal themes as love, nature, family, war and memory. With two introductory essays, this volume presents the poems in the context of the father/son and poet/filmmaker relationship that is so important in Andrei Tarkovsky’s creative universe.
Kitty Hunter Blair’s translations include Andrei Tarkovsky’s Sculpting in Time, Time Within Time: The Diaries 1970-1986 and the kinoroman Andrei Rublëv. In collaboration with Jeremy Brooks, she has also translated plays by Ostrovsky, Gorki, Chekhov and Solzhenitsyn for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC. She taught Russian language and literature at Cambridge for twenty years.
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