Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Charles Thomas
Dear Editor,

I enjoyed Alexei Tsevtkov's finely crafted prose ["Leaving Prague: A Notebook," February 2008].

When I read of him leaving poetry and finally returning, I thought of Chekhov's lines: "When I stop drinking tea and eating bread and butter, I say, 'I've had enough.' But when I stop reading poems or novels, I say, 'No more of that, no more of that.'" Tsevtkov's ideas about poetic creation were moving and ring true.

But when Tsevtov writes, with regard to the export of contemporary Russian poetry, and as if to explain his own disappearance, that "poetry is a perishable commodity," I found myself wondering about Andrey Voznesensky, Yunna Morits, or Bella Akhmadulina. There are many others. In the United States, not all Russian poets after Brodsky are ignored.

Houston, Texas

Originally Published: May 16, 2008

Poetry is looking for thought-provoking responses to work published in the magazine, as well as letters that raise new questions about the state of contemporary poetry. To send us your letter, please fill out all the fields below.

If we choose to use your letter, we will notify you by phone. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of sending your letter, you may assume we will not be using it. All letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may appear online, in print, or both.

Please do NOT send poetry submissions to this account. See Submission Guidelines for further information and policies regarding poetry submissions.


* All fields are required


This prose originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2008

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.