Old Songs: Poems

21,000+ Reviews
Bookshop.org has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
$17.00  $15.81
Slant Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.23 inches | 0.34 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Olga Sedakova is an internationally recognized poet and thinker. Emerging out of the late Soviet Underground, she has gone on to become a voice of conscience in the post-Soviet era. Sedakova is the recipient of many awards, including Russia's Andrei Bely Prize. Her poems engage diverse modes, from the folkloric to the metaphysical, and reflect an ethic and aesthetic grounded in Russian cultural tradition and informed by a "longing for world culture" (Osip Mandelstam).
Martha M. F. Kelly is associate professor of Russian at the University of Missouri. She is author of Unorthodox Beauty: Russian Modernism and Its New Religious Aesthetics (Northwestern University Press, 2016). Her literary translations and essays have appeared in Two Lines, Los Angeles Review of Books, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry Daily, and Lit Hub. She is currently working on a book, "Olga Sedakova, Russian Icon, or The Poet on the Stove at the Center of the Cosmos."

In these exceptionally fine translations, Martha M.F. Kelly has achieved her aim of conveying "a sense of words worn down as smooth as a river rock." One hears English words anew here, as well as the musical beauty and glorious wisdom of Sedakova's poetry. To have Old Songs in this new version is a gift.

--Stephanie Sandler, Harvard University

In these elegantly shaped and deliciously allusive utterances, Sedakova interrogates the puzzlement of the human heart-her heart? every human heart? the heart of the invisible but suspected God? With a signature and profoundly audible voice--which is in turns comic, in turns tragic, in turns aching with perplexity--these poems are united by a rare combination of humility, candor, and confidence, and by a deep, bass note of joy undergirding their claims on my heart as well.

- -Scott Cairns, author of Anaphora and Lacunae

It is excellent that Olga Sedakova has found in Martha M.F. Kelly such a careful, skilled, and sympathetic translator.

--Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, author of Looking East in Winter