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Selected Poems

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Written by Vladimir NabokovAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Vladimir Nabokov
Introduction by Thomas KarshanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Thomas Karshan

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On Sale: May 29, 2012
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0-307-95755-9
Published by : Knopf Knopf
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Synopsis|Table of Contents

Synopsis

Though we know Vladimir Nabokov as a brilliant novelist, his first love was poetry. This landmark collection brings together the best of his verse, including many pieces that have never before appeared in English.

   These poems span the whole of Nabokov’s career, from the newly discovered “Music,” written in 1914, to the short, playful “To Véra,” composed in 1974. Many are newly translated by Dmitri Nabokov, including The University Poem, a sparkling novel in verse modeled on Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin that constitutes a significant new addition to Nabokov’s oeuvre. Included too are such poems as “Lilith”, an early work which broaches the taboo theme revisited nearly forty years later in Lolita, and “An Evening of Russian Poetry”, a masterpiece in which Nabokov movingly mourns his lost language in the guise of a versified lecture on Russian delivered to college girls. The subjects range from the Russian Revolution to the American refrigerator, taking in on the way motel rooms, butterflies, ice-skating, love, desire, exile, loneliness, language, and poetry itself; and the poet whirls swiftly between the brilliantly painted facets of his genius, wearing masks that are, by turns, tender, demonic, sincere, self-parodying, shamanic, visionary, and ingeniously domestic.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Poems Translated by Dmitri Nabokov

MUSIC
REVOLUTION
PETER IN HOLLAND
THE LAST SUPPER
EASTER
THE RULER
THE GLASSES OF ST. JOSEPH
“LIKE PALLID DAWN, MY POETRY SOUNDS GENTLY”
SHAKESPEARE
CUBES
ST. PETERSBURG
EVENING
FORTUNE-TELLING
THE DEMON
THE SKATER
SPRING
DREAM
THE TRAIN WRECK
UT PICTURA POESIS
A TRIFLE
THE UNIVERSITY POEM
BUTTERFLIES
TOLSTOY
“I HAVE NO NEED, FOR MY NOCTURNAL TRAVELS”
TO THE GRAPEFRUIT
THE HAWKMOTH
“FORTY-THREE YEARS, FORTY-FOUR YEARS MAYBE”
TO VÉRA

The Russian Poems from Poems and Problems

THE RAIN HAS FLOWN
TO LIBERTY
I STILL KEEP MUTE
HOTEL ROOM
PROVENCE
LA BONNE LORRAINE
THE BLAZON
THE MOTHER
I LIKE THAT MOUNTAIN
THE DREAM
THE SNAPSHOT
IN PARADISE
THE EXECUTION
FOR HAPPINESS THE LOVER CANNOT SLEEP
LILITH
THE MUSE
SOFT SOUND
SNOW
THE FORMULA
AN UNFINISHED DRAFT
EVENING ON A VACANT LOT
THE MADMAN
HOW I LOVE YOU
L’INCONNUE DE LA SEINE
AT SUNSET
WE SO FIRMLY BELIEVED
WHAT HAPPENED OVERNIGHT
THE POETS
TO RUSSIA
OCULUS
FAME
THE PARIS POEM
NO MATTER HOW
ON RULERS
TO PRINCE S. M. KACHURIN
A DAY LIKE ANY OTHER
IRREGULAR IAMBICS
WHAT IS THE EVIL DEED
FROM THE GRAY NORTH

The English Poems from Poems and Problems

A LITERARY DINNER
THE REFRIGERATOR AWAKES
A DISCOVERY
THE POEM
AN EVENING OF RUSSIAN POETRY
THE ROOM
VOLUPTATES TACTIONUM
RESTORATION
THE POPLAR
LINES WRITTEN IN OREGON
ODE TO A MODEL
ON TRANSLATING “EUGENE ONEGIN”
RAIN
THE BALLAD OF LONGWOOD GLEN

English Poems Not Included in Poems and Problems

HOME
REMEMBRANCE
THE RUSSIAN SONG
SOFTEST OF TONGUES
EXILE
A POEM
DREAM
DANDELIONS
LUNAR LINES

Vladimir Nabokov

About Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov - Selected Poems

Photo © Jerry Bauer

VLADIMIR NABOKOV studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin. In 1940, he left France for the United States, where he wrote some of his greatest works—Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962)—and translated his earlier Russian novels into English. He taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.
 
Thomas Karshan is the author of Vladimir Nabokov and the Art of Play and co- translator of Nabokov’s The Tragedy of Mister Morn. Previously a research fellow at Christ Church, Oxford, and Queen Mary, University of London, he is now a lecturer in literature at the University of East Anglia. He lives in London and Norwich.


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