A new Russian writer I discovered this morning is Nikolai Nekrasov (1821-78)...
In 2016 I wrote a couple of posts on lists of writers whose work survives or is best known in fragments, who could even be imagined as the precursors of bloggers.
Over the last few weeks I have collected a fair swag of Russian world history and literature.
The Russians of today show no sign of pulling down the great statue of Peter the Great that overlooks the Neva. Nor do they show any signs of cancelling Pushkin.
From this traumatised, divided old Russian Soviet poet, we learn about our own strange freedom.
Shvarts has become for me an important poet.
Something tells me Chekhov and the innovations in drama he bequeathed to us may appear in my podcast series on the gifts of Russian culture.
The focus of my writing attention over the last couple of weeks has been on editing a collection of my blog posts that I will publish as books.I don't know how common it is to republish blogs as books, if in edited and curated form. It seems little different to me to the many collections of oped, short essays, book reviews and occasional pieces that do get published quite often.
The Russians with Attitude podcast released to their subscribers a feature this week on the Russian writer and mystic, Mikhail Bulgakov. Bulgakov made his way from a medical student in Kiev through the Civil War in Russia and Ukraine to a difficult life as a writer for newspapers, theatre and novels in the 1920s and 1930s. He wrote a great account of the Civil War in The White Guard, and of course the masterpiece for which he earned posthumous fame, The Master and Margarita. [Read more]....
Join the The Burning Archive Podcast on Apple or Spotify and other platforms for a special feature on the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature, and learn not only about the hushed excitement of the winner (sshh no spoilers), but the history of the prize, favourite winners, best losers, and most contentious scandals. Congratulations to Abdulrazak… Continue reading Podcast #21 – Special on 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature
Michael Oakeshott, Marina Tsvetaeva, Elena Shvarts, Russian Ark, St Petersburg
I have begun a YouTube channel, The Burning Archive, where I will feature short videos of my writing and interests in culture, history and literature. To begin the channel I am releasing a set of five poems that I have read from each of the fascicles of Gathering the Flowers of the Mind: Collected Poems,… Continue reading Watch my poetry readings on YouTube
I am very pleased to announced that I am publishing my collected poems, Gathering Flowers of the Mind: Collected Poems, 1996-2020 in both a print and e-book edition. You can purchase through online retailers such as Amazon and Booktopia. You can buy the print edition from Amazon here and the e-book edition from Amazon here.… Continue reading My collected poems
This morning I read this poem. "A task" by Czelaw Milosz, chosen randomly from his collected poems. It reminded me of the post I made on reading this poem initially in 2017. It resonated again today amidst so much degraded public discourse. I will add to this repost the closing paragraph of the other poem… Continue reading A task: from Milosz to me
Wallace Stevens is a poet of comedy, and comedy relieves the distress of tragic history. Comedy reconciles the restless, Romantic imagination with the present and the real. When the world falls apart, one must cultivate one's garden, but also tell some comic stories over dinner. It is comedy, not alone but inseparable, that moves the infinite conversation on.
Today, 31 March, is the feast day for John Donne in the Anglican and Lutheran denominations and commemorates the metaphysical poet and reluctant priest's death in 1631. In honour of this intriguing figure, whose poetry and prose I wish to read more of, I am reposting a post from September 2016. It speaks of the… Continue reading Donne’s sermons and the blogging tradition
Over the last difficult year my garden has been a constant companion and a source of renewal and strength. Here are three tankas composed in thanks for my garden. I Freshly dug earthOpens its arms for rain.Here dreams were planted.Yesterday, my flowers died.Tomorrow, my ferns will grow. II Plants await plantingAtop a stone ledge besidePrepared… Continue reading Three tankas on my garden
This morning I read some poems from Hafez (c 1315-1390) that celebrated love and wine and striving of a mysticism. Notwithstanding the art, the sentiments left me cold, and so I recovered from an earlier post this different sentiment of Rumi that speaks more to my sense of the spirit of the times: "Sometimes the… Continue reading A revelation from Rumi
The story of Ezra Pound's mind cannot be told in plain and simple affirmations. Three twisted trees grow from this mind in all accounts: poetry, unavowable politics, and madness. They stand tangled and tragic in a strange, haunted copse that very few today will see as an holy trinity. The iconoclasts of today's fanatical cancel… Continue reading Ezra Pound, the unavowable fury of thy true heritage in fragments
One year ago I was about to fly to Bali, as it turned out in the last window of easy international travel before wide COVID travel restrictions. It was a wonderful, relaxing, luxurious and rejuvenating trip. Part of the regrowth came from the direct experience of the cultural traditions that India disseminated over South East… Continue reading The persistence of the Mahabharata