E DUBNOV: CRITICAL OPINIONS - POETRY

Rich in texture, poignant, subtle, and beautifully made, the poems of Eugene Dubnov are long overdue for a collection in in America. At home in several cultures, Dubnov is a true original.

X.J. Kennedy

A real gift.
               Prof. John Bayley, Oxford

Resonance of great Russian poetry of the past in a uniquely original voice.
               Prof. Sir Dmitry Obolensky, Oxford

A significant... interesting and resourceful poet.
               Prof. Gerald Smith, Chair of Russian, Oxford, in Scottish Slavonic Review

Impressions arising when reading these poems are of a burning passion, concentrated in one gust, for freedom, characteristic of thinking individuals of the author's generation. Thousands of times sold, betrayed and compromised, the word "freedom" comes to life in these poems and is filled with its true, irresistible content. These poems were written in Soviet Russia where, in their author's words, "There's a heavy price that must be paid / For the ability to take wing. "

The New Russian Word  (New York), 1972

An original talent... a combination of hypnotic melody with polished mastery of form. [....] It is...clear that he is an heir to Mandelstam (and to Joseph Brodsky, as well), but his is an original voice, moulding the Russian language with finesse and sensitivity.

Prof. Donald Rayfield, University of London, in Books in Russian

A real journey of the spirit... Body of work that advances steadily in accomplishment... The author shows intimacy and assured way with language which responds happily to his touch... he has learned from poets such as Pasternak and Mandelstam, yet develops his own voice.

Prof. Henry Gifford, University of Bristol

A sensitive look into the nature of things and events, close attention to earth’s great and small marks... unceasing thinking process and meaningfulness... unquestionable sincerity and trust in the reader... mastery of language... Similes and metaphors in Eugene Dubnov’s poetry please the eye with their freshness and precision.

The New Review  (New York)

Eugene Dubnov’s poetry is remarkable for its tight structure and dense, complex texture.

W.D. Snodgrass

Eugene Dubnov's poems, side by side in the original Russian, "chorus in polyphony," like his springtime birds. His work is a magnificent epistle to lives "stretched between fire and hard frost." Rich details, precise diction, and surprising metaphors elevate The Thousand-Year Minutes to its rightful place: a bookshelf near you.

J. Patrick Lewis, USA


Multifarious and fruitful experience at cross-sections of cultures... the richness and breadth of experience fully paid for by the spiritual exertion.

Prof. Helena Konstantinovsky in The Renaissance

Philosophical density and intellectualism side by side with erudition; close attention to historical realities.

Dr. Ida Lifshitz, University of Moscow, in The Companion

Eugene Dubnov's new book, The Thousand-Year Minutes , shows a sharp lyrical objectivism that reminds me a bit of the late work of George Oppen, yet is all a strength of its own and of a life lived, sometimes suffered, in and of both the natural and built worlds, showing both how complex and how ephemeral our places, spaces, and selves really are. Here's a sample:

UNTITLED

Water's purpose here is plain: grinding away
the lip of the cliff, to take its place; in front of us
a mighty stream erupts from the earth's depths
of luminously vibrant grey clay.

All is in complex motion, and into the space
where you've just been, air from behind you,
with its silky foot has already entered
and instantly occupied your lost place.

Charles Alexander, Chax Press, USA


Poetry of the earth...[The Thousand-Year Minutes ] brought to mind something of the pure and uninflected voice of John Clare: "targets in the river / grief in the grass / rain / the spangled asphalt" ["Cityscape", p.9].

Poetry New Zealand Yearbook


I like Eugene Dubnov’s poems; they are intelligent, meaningful and unconcerned with impressing the reader.

Alexander Kushner, National Poet of Russia

Masterful translations.
                                     
                                       NewPages review of poems published in New Letters 77-1