2004Mandelstham is at least within the top three Russian poets of the twentieth century but for english speaking readers he is perhaps the best- translations of others are often abominable. The poems themselves are something unique- think of the prismatic and delicate mallarme and splash a modernistic style that transforms at each step without looking behind- a courage of sorts- and then feel the classical purity with which these poems are imbued, no irritating schoolboy conceits here although experiment is constant but through necessity, for integrity, not whimsy. Try to find the nice little green penguin classics version as this has all the best translations and keep it safely in the inside pocket for a few weeks. One regrets having read all that gulag tripe after finding such a beauty which is both involved in its time but sits on the summits with the circus of transcendency. (AmReview)
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