This volume contains a selection of early works by Yevgeny Alexandrovich Yevtushenko who blazed a trail for a generation of Soviet poets with a confident poetic voice that moves effortlessly between social and personal themes. ‘Zima Junction’ vividly describes his idyllic childhood in Siberia and his impressions of home after a long absence in Moscow. Private moments are captured in ‘Waking’, on the joys of discovering the unexpected in a lover, and ‘Birthday’, on a mother’s concern for her son, while ‘Encounter’ depicts an unexpected meeting with Hemingway in Copenhagen. ‘The Companion’ and ‘Party Card’ show war from a child’s eye, whether playing while oblivious to German bombs falling nearby or discovering a fatally wounded soldier in the forest, while Yevtushenko’s famous poem, ‘Babiy Yar’, is an angry expose of the Nazi massacre of the Jews of Kiev.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko (b.1933) is a Russian poet, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, and actor. He is credited with originating the policy of perestroika and continues to speak out against political abuses in Russia.
Robin Milner-Gulland is a professor of Russian and Eastern European studies at the University of Sussex.
Peter Levi (1931?2000) was a professor of poetry at Oxford.
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