Larissa Miller
      Larissa Miller, born in 1940, poet and essayist, Member of the Russian Pen-Center, lives in Moscow.  

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      "Larissa Miller's poems radiate harmony. Her clear, precise and beautiful language is her forte. Her poetry is truely poetic and does not need neologisms or any special devices for its expressiveness. Such poetry, marked with openness and sincerity, will always be in demand whatever is the current fashion."

Arseny Tarkovsky, "Den' Poezii", 1978.
    1-2)"Nameless Day" ("Bezymyannyi Den' "), 1977, and "My Land and Home" ("Zemlya i Dom"), 1986, - collections of poetry published by "Sovetsky Pisatel' ", Moscow: 
        Diversity of grass and flower! 
        Go catch them in the leisure hour 
        In rain or sun net - and be rich! 
        I catch them in my word net...which 
        Is why they're very hard to capture 
        And all too often they flit past you  
        So once more you've an empty net, 
        No grass or petal in it yet. 
        But my wish is that when it's chilly 
        I still may see a flowering lily, 
        That every moment of delight 
        Should stay, not vanish from my sight. 
        That fair June days and nights star-sprangled 
        In my fair net of words entangled 
        Should gladden with their warmth sublime 
        The very dead of wintertime; 
        That every one now seen or seeing, 
        Now singing songs of joy or weeping, 
        All who tomorrow shall be gone 
        Should in my poetry live on.  
              Translated by Peter Tempest
* * *
        I step into the new day at slow pace  
        When the moon's disk is fading high and lonely, 
        With halting breath, the cold air on my face, 
        I enter fearfully, up to my ankles only. 
        I bend when I have barely moved a pace 
        To touch the surface with my fingers lightly. 
        It is so smooth, it does not move or race. 
        Are eyes pursuing me, or are they not, 
        As I forsake the place where I was staying 
        Of bygone days? And sparkling with bright dots 
        Cold streams - the future, round my fingers playing. 
              Translated by Eva Strauss
    3) "Let's Talk about the Paradoxes of Love" ("Pogovorim o Strannostyakh Lubvi"), - Moscow, "Vest' ", 1991. - Selected poetry and an essay about the author's favourite books. 

    4) "Selected Poetry and Prose" ("Stikhi i Proza"), - Moscow, Terra, 1992. This volume includes poetry and authobiographical prose: reminiscences about famous Russian poet Arseny Tarkovsky who died in 1989 and whom Larissa Miller had known for 20 years; "Childhood in Post-War Moscow", "Home Address" and two chapters about her mother, a journalist, who died in 1983, and about her father, also a journalist, who was killed in the War in 1942. Excerpts from the book have been published in English translation in "Glas" (#3, "Women's View", 1992; #6, "Jews and Strangers", 1993) and in "Moscow Guardian" (#37, 10 October, 1992). - See Attachments 1-3 below. 

    "Larissa Miller's beautiful memoir, "Childhood in Post-War Moscow", shines through a translation...". 

Richard Eder, "Los Angeles Times", November 26, 1992; 
    "Behind all this childish facade there was the real world of Stalinist Russia where her mother worked from dawn to dusk, where she was called a "dirty kike" before even realizing that she was Jewish, a world of scarcity and death. Miller writes of a childhood of endurance, but she does so without bitterness or sentimentality. It is writing that shimmers with detail and lingers in your mind". 
Helen Elliott, "Sidney Morning Herald", Australia, April 17, 1993;
    "Also resonant are the excerpts from Larissa Miller's memoir "Home Address" , in which the author recalls what it was like to come of age as a Jewish girl during Stalin's anti- cosmopolitan campaigns and beyond... Despite the taunts and the insults,... despite her " feeling today, just as I did back in 1953, that pogroms could begin any moment", Ms. Miller, like the other writers in this volume, remains resilient and undaunted. Despite the deep-rooted tradition and repeated historical outbursts of anti-Semitism in Russia, and the ongoing tension between Russians and Jews that makes many Jews feel like strangers in their own motherland, Russia for many is still the "homeland", as Ms. Miller calls it". 
Natasha Singer, "Forward", February 11, 1994.
        Diaspora. The scattering. 
        The howl of a strange land's wind. 
        The crack in a strange land's soil. 
        Which God made it our precept 
        To make other nations' troubles our own 
        And to live as guests of mankind 
        Far from our native land? 
        But now these sleepy rivers 
        Are dearer to me than my "native" streams. 
        And if I suffer insults, 
        My pain has nothing to do with the land of David. 
        Some from Rostov, some from Toulon,  
        We are the crowds of Babylon, 
        Alien, many-faced, 
        Long speaking different languages. 
        There is no end to our pilgrimage.  
        Only extermination brought us together 
        Into a long trail of smoke. 
        But winds blow eternally,  
        All smoke scattering.
Translated by Anthony Astrachan and Regina Kazakova. 
    5) "Waiting for Oedipus" ("V Ozhidanii Edipa"), - Moscow, Aviatekhinform, 1993. - Selected poetry and also essays where the author's contemplations on existantial problems of Life and Death are interspersed with verses and quotations from Meister Eckeharten. This was later included in the Section "Art and Methaphysics" in the religious-philosophical Journal "Eon, Anthology of Old and New Culture" (#3, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1993).  
    The essay that gave the name to the book looks at the enigma of Poetry which Lorca called "the riddle of Sphinx waiting for Oedipus to solve it".  

    6) "Poetry and about Poetry" ("Stikhi i o Stikhakh), - Moscow, Glas, 1996. - A collection of new poems written in 1993-96, and of essays: on the paradoxes of Vladimir Nabokov's poetry, comparative analysis of the poetry of Georgy Ivanov, Vyacheslav Khodasevich and Arseny Tarkovsky, etc.  

    "Baratynski described poetry as "a full awareness of a given moment". Obviously the more such moments we have, THE HIGHER IS THE QUALITY OF LIFE. Unfortunately, other values prevail in the world. But it is this awareness that fully reveals the quality of life, and this awareness comes when you decide to break away from the accepted standards and you begin to live by your own clock -- a clock with slow-moving hands.  

        Larissa Miller, from "His Majesty the Trifle" in the book "Poetry and about Poetry".
    At present two new manuscripts by Larissa Miller have been prepared for publication: "Holidays, Holidays" ("Sploshnye Prazdniki") and "Notes, Scetches, and Records" ("Zametki, Zapisi, Shtrikhi"). Two essays from them were published in English in "Glas", #13, 1996 and in "New Times", #34, 1992. - See Attachments 4,5. 

    Larissa Miller have contributed numerous articles to "Literaturnaya Gazeta" and other periodicals about present-day problems of literary and cultural life in Russia.

* * * 
        Everything that could have, happened, 
        Things that cannot be believed. 
        Are there scales with which to measure 
        Evil, good, truth and deceit? 

        Some are fearless when in prison. 
        Some, when free, are sick with fear, 
        Through they are, one might imagine, 
        Free to choose their path at whim. 

        Blue unfathomed vault - the sky. 
        Black the craters in the earth. 
        Momentary the wait for rest 
        On the way through boundlessness. 

        Black holes cannot just be mended. 
        Anything can happen ... did. 
        Next? Perhaps the path to prison,  
        Gulps of dust along the road.  

        Little one, my son, my flesh, 
        Cutting, putting down your roots  
        Close besides this black abyss, 
        May the Lord preserve and spare you 

        From the butchers' drunken riots, 
        From the kicks and poison gas, 
        From the cannon gorging flesh,  
        From the concentration camps. 

        Please forgive me, love, forgive me -  
        I brought you into this world. 
        May whatever power is able 
        Save you in your hour of pain. 

        Anxious visions burn my soul. 
        Almost drugged, my sleep is deep. 
        But in your dreams daisies flower.  
        May the daisies flower for ever. 

                  Translated by Wendy Rosslyn 1974 
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