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This first full-length account of the Russian verse tradition shows how certain formal features are associated with certain genres and specific themes. Keeping technical terms to a minimum and providing English translations of all quotations, Michael Wachtel offers close readings of poems by more than fifty poets from Pushkin to Brodsky, and demonstrates the practical interpretive value of paying attention to poetic form. Ultimately, his book is an inquiry into the nature of literary tradition in a country that has always taken much of its identity from its written legacy.
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