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Far from Sodom

Far from Sodom

by Inna Lisnianskaya

Bilingual English / Russian edition

Translated by Daniel Weissbort, with an introduction by Elaine Feinstein

Part of our Visible Poets series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

Inna Lisnianskaya was born in Baku in 1928. For many years her work went unpublished in the Soviet Union although she is now recognised in her native land as one of its foremost writers, and a worthy recipient of both the State Prize and the Solzhenitsyn Prize.

Lisnianskaya is a poet of instinct — lyrical, intense, defiant, tragic — in whose poetry time, death and the need for love are key themes. In Far from Sodom, which spans her poetic output from 1967 to 2003, she writes with tender insight into love and loss in old age, and in particular about her late husband, the celebrated poet Semyon Lipkin.

In his sensitive and compelling new translation, in Russian/English parallel text, Daniel Weissbort offers English-language readers the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the work of this passionate, honest and totally human poet.

...Of what I have read in the last few years, Lisnianskaya's poems have impressed me most [...] The only echo I clearly discern in Lisnianskaya's poetry is that of Akhmatova...

Joseph Brodsky, 1983

...provide a much-needed link between past glory and present poetic uncertainty. easy lyricism, nothing strained or verbally complex, a precision of voice and innate sense of poetic self.

Sasha Dugdale, East-West Review, Issue 13, Dec 2006

...poems which stand out and are quite beautiful...seem to float off the page, they have such a wonderful ethereal quality. ...have a greater resonance...contain much in the way of sly political comment.

Fiona Curran, Orbis 138, Autumn 2006

Fiercely independent, subtly defiant, and not without a leavening of droll humour...quietly commanding... fresh and distinctive... writes with wry and tender insight into love and loss in old age... bracing vitality and touching vulnerability.

PBS Bulletin No 205 Summer 2005

...Inna Lisnianskaya's voice is a quietly commanding one, fresh and distinctive, yet part of a great Russian lyrical tradition.

Dennis O'Driscoll

Plays on the tension between memory and commemoration ...the commemorative and the earthy are distilled together into beautiful lyrics...A natural and unforced quality ... quietly humorous and wry.

P N Review January 2006

108 pages
ISBN 1-901614-14-0
Published January 2005

» About Inna Lisnianskaya