LEAF OF SPRING by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yesenin-Volpin


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The importance of this little volume, half poetry, half prose, lies chiefly in the interdiction of its publication in Russia, and the recent imprisonment of its 36 year old author. (Yesenin-Volpin is the natural son of that famous Russian poet, Yesenin, a contemporary of Pasternak and pastoral-imagist who commited suicide in 1925.) This book is divided into two parts, the first consisting of poems (1941-1951) which contain both Aesopian and outspoken criticism of the Soviet government. The second part is a prose essay which sets forth the author's extremely skeptical, not to say nihilistic, views in the terms of his chosen profession- a philosophical logician. Since Russian poetry lends itself so poorly to translation into English, the poetry is difficult to evaluate per se. It does contain a strong love of liberty and many words of courage. But the most astonishing and revealing characteristic of the book is that its contents should have provoked the Russian authorities to the severest measures (the author's whereabouts are now unknown), and its main interest is not in the field of poetry-or philosophy- but of politics, as an example of suppression.

Publisher: Praeger