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Outside the apartment window, at twilight, the trees of Sokolniki Park held the last oranges and reds of autumn, rhyming with the carrots, apples, and beets on the cutting board in front of me as we prepared dinner together, Jeremy and Natasha and I. I’d arrived in Russia earlier in fall 1992 on a Watson fellowship to study “Contemporary Russian Poetry and Its Relationship to Historical Change,” but I was feeling even more lost than when I’d arrived. Russian language, which I’d studied in college for four years, was a thicket that I’d tear myself through every day, trying to express the simplest things. And if the language weren’t thorny enough for me, I found navigating Russian bureaucracies and mentalities — whether train depots or library privileges — like a pathless wood. More… “Farther and Farther in Sokolniki”

Philip Metres is the author of Pictures at an Exhibition (2016), Sand Opera (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), and To See the Earth (2008), etc. A recipient of the Lannan, two NEAs and two Arab American Book Awards, he is professor of English at John Carroll University.
http://www.philipmetres.com

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