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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 Though relatively unpublished in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s, Gennady Aygi's work has been translated into some twenty languages, and has received major acclaim through many parts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 homelandbirches, oaks, snow, roses, fieldsmix with a disrupted syntax, astonishing turns, gaps, and suspensions that all speak to a quiet stillness of being.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811215367
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 04/28/2003
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Gennady Aygi (1934–2006) was born in a village in the Chuvash Republic, a land with a Turkic language, and eventually became the Chuvash national poet, later moving to Moscow. Like Platonov, he couldn’t publish his work in the Soviet Union until the 1980s. New Directions publishes his books Child-And-Rose and Field-Russia.

Peter France has published widely on French, Russian, and comparative literature. New Directions publishes his translations of Gennady Aygi.

Peter France has published widely on French, Russian, and comparative literature. New Directions publishes his translations of Gennady Aygi.

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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