Vera Markova
While the earth stands: selected poems and translations


Vera Nikolaevna Markova (1907-1995) is known primarily as a Japanese philologist, researcher of Japanese literature, an outstanding translator from Japanese (Sei Senagon, Matsuo Basho, Akutagawa Ryunoske, etc.) and from English (Emily Dickinson) languages. But all her life Vera Markova wrote poems — and never published them. Their first publications appeared in the "New World" at the decline of the Soviet era, in 1989, when the author was eighty-two years old, and the first and only lifetime collection — "The Moon rises twice" — in 1992, when she was eighty-five.

Markova's poems were written beyond margins of contemporary Soviet poetry. They spoke a different language, belonging to a parallel — a secret, deep — layer of Russian literary history of the XX century, which continues to open up today. The influence of translation work on Markova's own poems can be called liberating: translations expanded both the range of intonation and the horizons of vision.

Introductory article written by Olga Sedakova. Afterword by Olga Balla-Gertman.

The book includes selected translations of Emily Dickinson and Basho, the author's autobiography and memories.

"Vera Markova (by her own admission) wrote without thinking about publications. She didn't want them be published. Probably, she did not introduce too many people to her poems: they did not know these poems in the samizdat lists either. Now this big secluded world can open up to the reader. (...) It's a completely different world, a completely different verse, a different focus, a different experience". Olga Sedakova

ISBN 978-5-89059-478-5