A remarkable poetic account of a man and his daughter.Though relatively unpublished in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s, Gennady Aygi's work has been translated into some twenty languages, and has received major acclaim through many parts of the world. Child-and-Rose is a unique collection of poems and prose chosen and arranged by the author and translator. Taking as its central themes childhood, sleep, and silence in relation to poetic creation, the book is divided into five sections—"Veronica's Book," ...
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A remarkable poetic account of a man and his daughter.Though relatively unpublished in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s, Gennady Aygi's work has been translated into some twenty languages, and has received major acclaim through many parts of the world. Child-and-Rose is a unique collection of poems and prose chosen and arranged by the author and translator. Taking as its central themes childhood, sleep, and silence in relation to poetic creation, the book is divided into five sections—"Veronica's Book," "Sleep-and-Poetry," "Before and After the Book," "Silvia's World," and "Poetry-as-Silence"—all written between 1972 and 2002. In this collection, each poem is a carefully crafted space of language that surfaces from the heart of a poetic consciousness at "the limits of intelligibility," as the translator notes. Images of Aygi's Chuvash homeland—birches, oaks, snow, roses, fields—mix with a disrupted syntax, astonishing turns, gaps, and suspensions that all speak to a quiet stillness of being.

Author Biography: Gennady Aygi was born in 1934 in the village of Shaymurzino, in the Chuvash Autonomous Republic, some 500 miles east of Moscow. Due to his ties with Pasternak, Aygi was expelled from the Gorky Literary Institute, and went on to found a society of underground artists in Moscow. He has worked at the Mayakovsky Museum, organizing art exhibitions, although he has lived in poverty for most of his life. He lives in Moscow. Peter France's gorgeous translations have benefited from a friendship with the author for nearly thirty years.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a preface by Bei Dao and translations from the Russian by Peter France, Child-and-Rose presents poet Gennady Aygi's own selection from his work. Now living in Moscow and nearly a septuagenarian, Aygi was born in the Chuvash Autonomous Republic, and writes with an imagistic compression and real time candor that recalls Robert Creeley, but is utterly unique. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811215367
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,098,713
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2002 Gennady Aygi
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0811215369

Chapter One



TWO EPIGRAPHS Veronica, you are necessary ... Leonid Lavrov ... And Veronica's Hair, even here - I plaited, unplaited, I plait, unplait, I plait. Paul Celan PROLOGUE: CHANT - FATHERHOODLAND If we break this oath, may hops sink in the Volga and iron float up (from a treaty between the Bulgars and the Russians, 985 AD) if for you I have passed on then hops will sink. in-love-like-a-sea (ay-iya-yur) but when without me you pass by iron will float up from singing-like-a-sea (ay-iya-yur) 1983-1984 Moscow-Kaunas ON THE DAY OF FIRST MEETING

could of veneration this my slowed-down looking ... - and what self-recognition of another world circles - close by? ... - not a look - but untouched Word-Face: oh brief equality: One - it cannot be said! for the same Looks with the same silence (One - as the face - at the One) 18 January 1983 MY DAUGHTER'S FIRST WEEK

the quietness where the child is - seems uneven within limits - of fragile lightshadows: emptiness! - for the world Grows in her - to Listen to Itself in its Fullness 22 January 1983: HEAVEN-GRAMOPHONE

from the fields continuing out of pain soon mychild there will be for you too a schubert: Always-Unvollendete somewhere above pain to be unending from the fields February 1983 OR - WHO LOVES TO ME with what then do I love? or - who loves to me? I do not know for - despite all my obscenity so often for the baby now I seem - without changing - sacredly-painfully (it turns in a circle) pure 4 March 1983


and a flower opened - to smile on the face: made new (so much in solitude) the mother-come-again shuddered: oh this circle! turn me so: not to come to my senses or to visions: praise to Pity as to God - for this strange-and-only time: it narrowed - and flashed past! I know no beginning or end: only lightwhirl! (and so strangely including - me) 4 March 1983 ON DAYS OF ILLNESS

1 the baby's illness the trees' disquiet 2 in velvet of flowers I go to sleep tossing and turning with cheeks tossing and turning amid floods: like a dream made of clumsy circles: of belatedly-needless tears: as if for my mother ... or for whom then? clearly - all the more in this mish-mash - clearly: in any case - not for our Lord 3 and trees were once like brothers in mist-into their poverty Came God amid snowdrifts (Continuing my silence as work: with sorrow - amid the trees) 4 oh God the child's shudder 11-12 March 1983 BEGINNING OF THE "PERIOD OF LIKENESSES"

and the forces of the tribe are stirred - and they float and turn like wind-and-light - carrying over your face cloud after cloud: all expressions of vanished faces - to manifest to confirm - the "definitive" appearance - your own: with fire - standing firm in turbulence! - (is it not with this same heat that - peering - I shudder: as if - amid some singing? - pain - came in like the wind) March 1983 AND: NOT TOUCHING one should fear both children's fingers and tender leaves - of birdcherry: because: there is nothing and no-one terrible in the world only God (stronger than kindness! and remembering - keep quiet): and only: you know - you 22 April 1983 CONTINUATION OF THE "PERIOD OF LIKENESSES" a passing gleam: a shade? maternal? from what depths: from unspeaking time - forgotten treasure? dream and not dream: light - reaching the face: revelation of whom then deep down with the flash of a bond - that perhaps also raises white and dark of ancient field and wind? or is it grief - flickering - in the little face of father-wandering through unknown first-circle in attempts to find himself again in the rising storm of the tribe? you sleep ... - but it wakes - ever wider ever stronger - the common-shining: hammered out in pain where then is it hiding - your fresh-and-new-found appearance - among many others? April 1983 TRANQUILITY OF A VOWEL

a 21 February 1982 NOW to O.P. my friend oh mother-child the baby's face moves away to have strength to come closer shining-quiet to the circle features of the loved-and-loving (many separately One) 2 April 1983 AGAIN-A SMILE it gleams - without age - the soul of humanity: purified - by the heart of a child (by "work"-she too works! - or rather: by work - unknown - on her behalf) - revealed to the light - invisibly - "comprehensible:" oh, what-can-I-say! - to such a source: its name is "it-only-remains unique!" - but what then - just now - is happening? - I look - I forget - I look ... - forgetting looking April 1983 QUIETNESS

oh my quiet god repeating you like a senselikeness I seem long since in a steady calm: cool you flow without change ... - only once I glanced round: the cherries had already gone over ... - the child prolongs the smile ... - only such gurgles of yours including old heart's weakness ever more intimate (with a certain whisper) from time to time - barely - show forth the clarity of the treasure "my quiet god" April 1983

Excerpted from CHILD-AND-ROSE by GENNADY AYGI Copyright © 2002 by Gennady Aygi
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Table of Contents

Veronica's Book 3
Foreword 5
Dedication 9
In Place of a Preface 10
Two Epigraphs 11
Prologue: Chant - Fatherhoodland 12
On the Day of First Meeting 13
My Daughter's First Week 14
Heaven-Gramophone 15
Or - Who Loves to Me 16
Appearance in a Smile 17
On Days of Illness 18
Beginning of the "Period of Likenesses" 19
And: Not Touching 20
Continuation of the "Period of Likenesses" 21
Tranquility of a Vowel 22
Now 23
Again - A Smile 24
Quietness 25
Bed Time 26
Urszula and the Wild Rose 27
A Lost Page (Or: Snow in the Garden) 28
In the Fourth Month: Attempts at Singing 29
Song from the Days of Your Forefathers 30
And: At Five Months 32
Little Tatar Song 33
Tea Rose - The Only One in the Neighborhood 34
Note - After Rocking 34
Story of the Level-Crossing Gate and the Crossing Keeper's Cabin 35
Purer than a Tear 36
Roses of Eteri Aged Three 37
Recognition of the Name 38
Story of Harlequin Grown Old 39
Smile (Meaning "Beloved") 40
Mouse Gone 41
Again: Rocking You 42
Tops of the Birches - From Childhood and till Now 43
Again - Something from the "Period of Likenesses" 44
And: She Sleeps (in a Pram) by the Sea 45
Song of Sounds 46
In Days of Illness - Dream Image 47
Written in the Fields 48
Chuvash Song for a Girl Your Age 49
Still Remembering the Same Temple 50
Long Walk 50
And: Somewhere a Little Boy is Sleeping 51
Vision: A Young Girl 52
Phloxes in Town 53
Lullaby? It is Yours 54
Ex-Libris - For You - In Verse 55
Something - Again about a Boy 56
Your First Sea with Me 57
Again - Trying to Catch Expressions 58
Little Song for You - About your Father 59
Written Down While Sitting with You on the Balcony 60
Pause in my Daughter's "Book" 61
Often Five-Year-Old Asya Comes to See Us 63
Field Dream 64
Continuation 65
Playing Finger Games 66
And: Oats in Flower Beyond the Meadow 67
Singing and Silence 68
Again - The Third Grasshopper (Now - For You) 69
To a Friend - Instead of a Letter 70
First Words 71
Again - Closeness of Roses 72
Vision: A Girl 73
Again - She Sleeps 74
About This 75
Something Precious 76
And: The First Half Year 76
Child-And-Rose 77
Epilogue: Lullaby-Suwalkie 78
And: Farewell to the Book 79
A Last Word from the Author 80
Sleep-and-Poetry 81
Before and After the Book 99
Roses in Town 101
Mozart: "Cassation I" 102
Now there are Always Snows 103
About This 105
Snow - In an "Old" District of Moscow 106
Among Oaks 107
Leaf-Fall and Silence 108
Again: Appearance of a Bluetit 109
Snow At Midday 110
And - Strangely: "Somewhere" - My Daughter 111
Two Little Songs for the Two of Us 112
Again: Air in the Tops - Of Birches 113
My Daughter's Autumn Walk 114
Now Such a One Also 116
House - In the Grove of the World 117
This August's Phloxes 118
Supper: House Outside Town 119
Gift - A Birch Grove 120
Awaiting a Friend 121
House in the Field 122
Together 123
Quietness with a Happening 124
Drawing Long Ago 125
Phloxes at Night in Berlin 126
Two Epilogues 127
Daughter in a Clearing 128
Birch at Noon 129
During a Friend's Illness 130
Fields of this Summer 131
Drawing for Peter France 133
With an Ancient Memory 134
From Lines in A Dream 135
Day - Towards Evening 136
Long Ago 137
Beginning from the Field 138
The People Are A Temple 138
From "Long Parting" 139
Silvia's World 141
Poetry-as-Silence 155
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