From “Eastern Brushes” album
“We are back to Plato’s Cave. The world is reduced to shadows & lights dancing upon the walls. The walls are real, they flicker, omnipresent. They are the screens of our tablets, computers, and smartphones. I’ve been drawing and scribbling on them with my fingers since 2012. I feel both Paleolithic and contemporary. I am a new Cave Artist. Huge swathes of our cultural heritage are collapsing and disappearing. We have lost and forgotten so much, but we are reminded of our losses and memories. The walls are closing in on us, they are too close, we cannot see well. It’s all here, on these pages, including the shards of visual codes that survived but became incomprehensible. The puzzle’s changed rapidly, we had to keep up, yet the reflections rushed on. The walls are getting smarter, they have begun to absorb us, perhaps one day we will merge. Conceivably they will reflect us better than we have ever reflected on ourselves. The following works are still a record of the human condition.”
— Igor Satanovsky
Igor Satanovsky (b. 1969 in Kiev) is a visual artist, poet, editor, translator, curator, and award–winning book designer. He had solo art exhibits at the Zverevsky Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow (2019) and Outpost Gallery II in NYC (2017); and collaborated with Boris Lurie Art Foundation on organizing and curating various International art projects since 2010, including Boris Lurie’s retrospectives at Berlin Jewish Museum (2016) and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg (2019). Igor is Chief Editor of Novaya Kozha, a Russian-language almanac of arts and letters, and a recipient of the 2021 David Burliuk Prize (Otmetina) for experimental poetry. He authored seven collections of poetry and two albums of graphics. He is a member of the editorial boards of A Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (Richard Kostelanetz, various editions, USA/UK, 1999–2019) and Cultural Dictionary of the 21st Century (Moscow, 2020).
These English poems by Gari have the same energy and elegance as his Russian poems, and they are enriched by his multilayered, polyphonic use of the English language to express thoughts and feelings with sophistication and humor.
This new edition by Shearsman Press (UK) contains translations of Marina Tsvetaeva’s narrative poems (поэмы). They can be seen as markers of various stages in her poetic development, ranging from the early, folk-accented On a Red Steed to the lyrical-confessional Poem of the Mountain and Poem of the End to the more metaphysical later poems, An Attempt at a Room, Poem of the Mountain, a beautiful requiem for Rainer Maria Rilke, New Year’s Greetings, and Poem of the Air, a stirring celebration of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight and the quest for the soul’s freedom. These translations were first published by Ardis in 1998 and reprinted by Overlook in 2004 and 2009. The current edtion was published by Shearsman Press (UK) in 2021.