Petersburg: Prometei (ND) . 74pp. The gay Symbolist poet's free verse cycle drawn from his early experiences in Alexandria. Written between 1905 and 1908, these love poems are said to be the first significant cycle of free verse written in Russian and form the basis for their author's international reputation. Kuzmin employed several voices, both male and female, to express the love for young men to recreate the atmosphere of Alexandria under Hadrian the Great. Harold Bloom included this title in The Western Canon (1994). A good copy in worn wrappers, the front wrapper is detached and the rear wrapper is not present, small chips and marks to front wrapper. The book is laid into plain brown wrappers. Rare. First separate edition of Kuzmin's Alexandrian Songs, originally published as part of his first collection, Nets, in 1908. 'Kuzmin's fame as a poet rests largely with his cycle "Alexandrian Songs" (1905 1908). These are love poems with different personas, male and female, mostly homoerotic, stylized to reflect the sensibility of Alexandria in the age of Hadrian. One subcycle tells of a Roman soldier enamored of a distant Antinous, whose beauty overwhelms him at first sight. The poems are in unrhymed free verse, one of the few real successes in the writing of Russian free verse. The moods of the Mediterranean metropolis, its sights, sounds, and smells, provide a rich background to ingenuous and mostly serene declarations, confessions, and exultant boasts of love. The whole spirit of "Alexandrian Songs" is a credit to Russian poetry's ability to project a sensibility so totally alien to Russian life' (Terras).Tarasenkov p. 198; not in Kilgour.
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