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The Selected Poems of Oleh Lysheha

The Selected Poems of Oleh Lysheha

Translated by the Author and James Brasfield

Oleh Lysheha

Translated by James Brasfield

ISBN 9780916458904

Publication date: 12/31/1999

Oleh Lysheha is considered the "poets' poet" of contemporary Ukraine. A dissident and iconoclast, he was forbidden to publish in the Soviet Union from 1972 to 1988. Since then, his reputation has steadily grown to legendary proportions. His work is informed by transcendentalism and Zen-like introspection, with meditations on the essence of the human experience and man's place in nature. James Brasfield studied poetry and translation with Joseph Brodsky, Derek Walcott, Daniel Halpern, and other luminaries. He served as an editorial assistant for poetry at The Paris Review, and now teaches English at Pennsylvania State University.

The Collected Poems here include facing-page English and Ukrainian versions of selected poems and a play, "Friend Li Po. Brother Tu Fu." It represents a rare example of translations that are as beautiful as the original poetry and poems that anyone interested in the written word will appreciate.

Praise

  • Out of a silence imposed by history and ignorance comes the shattering voice of Oleh Lysheha. Ukraine has its overdue political autonomy, and now, with these poems and play, an equally overdue rendition of Ukrainian life, love, and stalwart hope. Lysheha's "Swan"—"My God, I'm vanishing.."—alone makes the book a treasure. This work offers American readers in particular not just a new voice, but, even in translation, a new language, a new way of seeing. Lysheha speaks through indirection, and observes through the sides of his eyes, but the effect is a set of blows to the heart, which leave one more alive, not less.

    —James Carroll, author of An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War that Came between Us

Authors

  • Oleh Lysheha is considered the “poets’ poet” of contemporary Ukraine. A dissident and iconoclast, he was forbidden to publish in the Soviet Union from 1972 to 1988. Since then, his reputation has steadily grown.
  • James Brasfield studied poetry and translation with Joseph Brodsky, Derek Walcott, Daniel Halpern, and other luminaries. He served as an editorial assistant for poetry at the Paris Review, and now teaches English at Pennsylvania State University.

Book Details

  • 160 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

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