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Forty years after Pushkin's death, Dostoyevsky wrote: 'Everything we have comes from Pushkin'. This is no exaggeration. When Pushkin started writing, Russian poetry was either composed from the lofty, solemn language of the Old Church Slavonic, or from elements of French and German poetry, with a characteristic abundance of barbarism and cliche. Pushkin cast aside the conventional poetic language of his time, stripping it of pompous embellishments and incorporating into his work everyday words and expressions that his predecessors had regarded as vulgarisms. This transformation revitalised the Russian literary language and opened the way for a new generation of poets to experiment further with new forms and subject matter.This book traces the development of Pushkin's verse from the Romantic poetry of his youth to the more mature and original style of his later works. With prose translations at the foot of each page, John Fennell's selection is designed to appeal to the general reader as well as the student of Russian language."
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