Pushkin, the World's Greatest Poet

Yesterday, I featured a guest post from Dr. Chris Powell, who will be a guest tomorrow on Books and Brews with Laura Vosika, on the great Russian novelists and why their work carries so much weight.  Today, we go from the large works to the small, to Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, arguably the world's greatest poet.

Pushkin, poetry, great poetry, great poets, great Russian poets, greatest poet
I talked last night with Ross Fishman, co-owner of Kramer School of Music where I teach, who will also be my guest tomorrow.  Having immigrated here from Russia at age 11, and thus missed the years they would have been taught, he feels he is not as familiar with the great Russian works as he should be.  However, he knows a great deal about Pushkin. 

In our conversation, I learned a great deal about the poet's very unusual heritage, his personal life (shades of Shawn!), his prolific works and later influence on future Russian poets,  the reason for his early death, and above all, the place he holds in the hearts of the Russian people.

I'm avoiding details!  No spoilers!  We'll be on at 8 am Saturday morning, February 25, 2017, at AM 950 in the Twin Cities.  Although live streaming is only available in Minnesota, there will be a link to listen anywhere in the world afterward.

He spoke, especially, about Pushkin's incredible way with words, his ability to use language as no one ever had, and to use it in such a beautiful way that it's almost like music.  We talked about the difficulty of translating poetry in particular, as words often don't have direct translations, and what rhymed in one language may not rhyme in another.

Tomorrow, in addition to talking about these things, Ross will read one or two poems both in Russian and in English.  I leave you with I Love You, which Ross directed me toward as one of Pushkin's best-loved poems, for it's ability to pack in such a poignant and self-sacrificial love into beautiful brevity:

broken heart, reminiscing, love, lost love, love poems

I loved you, and I probably still do,
And for a while the feeling may remain...
But let my love no longer trouble you,
I do not wish to cause you any pain
I loved you; and the hopelessness I knew
The jealousy, the shyness--though in vain''
Made up a love so tender and so true
As may God grant you to be loved again

Translated by Genia Gurarie, 11/10/95

And of course, we'll be sampling Russian beers with Michael Agnew--and an English beer that was the favorite of a Russian queen.  I hope you'll join us live or later for the podcast! 


  • February 25, 2017: I will co-host Food Freedom on AM 950 with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson.  Guests: Michael Agnew, craft beer expert and Ross Fishman Pushkin and Russia, and Dr. Chris R. Powell on Russian literature.  We'll taste Russian beer: listen to the whole program from last month.
  • March 20-24, 2017: Indie-Con, an online convention of indie authors in which I'll be participating with guest blogs, Q&A, and critiquing.

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