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Oh those touchy Russians!

Dear Volodya:

Usually, I am very careful with words. I said "I am an Okudjava person" in order to avoid casting judgements. No doubt there are many genuises out there in many languages. However, Poetry is a very personal and subjective thing. Russian intelligentsia tends to rationalize putting emphasis on the encyclopedic aspect of knowledge - you have to know the masterpieces by heart and you better not express any unfavorable opinions about the colossuses of the Russian literature. I think that reading a poem is a very subjective experience - it touches your soul.

rock and roll, you ate my soul;

you sucked dry me bones but you spit out my mole

While reading poetry, you bring to the poem a part of yourself. Some poems make sense to you without having the same effect on the others. Okudjava's lyrics is close to my heart, stirring memories and feelings, while Visotsky's does not. It is more a statement about me than an opinion on the quality of the bards' lyrics.

I appreciate them all, but I do not love them all.

And again, I love Regina because apart from her musical genius her lyrics sometimes touches me to teas and sometimes makes me smile. I guess it is the "outsider" perspective that gives her so much irony, which I admire.


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Dear Anna,

We are not touchy Madame...well at least some of us are not touchy.

Indeed, reading poetry is very subjective...though you cannot prove such a statement (the whole subjective-objective nonsense is a very deep philosophical argument).

I did not make any comments on the quality of the bards' lyrics...there are poems which bards produced, that a 5 year old child could read (and know the meaning of the words I mean). But to understand what it is the bard is trying to tell you is a different story.

What makes them genius is their ability to penetrate a human being. Such people tend to be found in all walks of life. Of course one has to find a certain plateau to observe from.

Their ingenuity does not stem from how grammatical they are (for instance Vysotsy's grammar is NO way comparable to that of Pasternak) or even how much they know (though this is arguable). Their ingenuity stems mainly from their motives (I think). The real geniuses have this amazingly powerful strength and drive to help...they want to progress. They give their whole life to this movement and as the generations come and go, we move closer and closer to that peak, which is currently occupied by who knows what. But throughout time, there has always been this flame of hope and it is these geniuses who keep fueling it. Finding such people is the trickiest thing, especially nowadays, since we are being washed with this (as our man George called it before he died) "tidal wave of bulshit".

Your whole point on personal connections to poems is "very very" valid.

Now a question: do you see the similarities between the themes Regina writes about and the themes which sprang up in the early 1960's from the bards back in the USSR? Do you see the similarities between the styles of presenting such information? I can sense something very close here, but then again it's all subjective Smiler


P.S. There are VERY FEW geniuses. Sure you can name quite a large number, but when you look at that number compared to the number of human beings who have lived on our planet (over the same time span from which you draw your geniuses) then you see how very few such people there are.

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