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.