Selected Poems: Elaine Feinstein

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Elaine Feinstein is a poet of lyrical directness. That clear, passionate voice which she brought to her celebrated translations of Marina Tsvetayeva's poetry is her own. She writes about love, loss, jealousy, the fear of abandonment. Her powerful rhythms flow down the page, seeking to draw a coherent shape out of the inner uncertainties. She also writes with tenderness about an ageing father, a child on a swing, old films, a flowering cactus. Hers is a poetry which can contain and welcome. The rare landscape poems are always peopled, and the considerable narrative and dramatic skills of a major novelist give urgency to her evocation of the classical figures of Dido and Eurydice. She has also found a poignant lyricism in writing of the inhabitants of her local streets and the ordinary pleasures of daily life. The poems in this selection are drawn from eleven volumes published over thirty years.