Data - 23/06/2018
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
St. Petersburg at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Upper Parnell Square, Dublin, Saturday 23 June, 5 pm
Poets Andrey Mashinyan, Director of the Irish Cultural Centre of St. Petersburg, and Philip McDonagh, former Irish ambassador to the Russian Federation, will celebrate the links between the poets of Ireland and St. Petersburg with readings in Russian and English.
Lomonosov and Goldsmith…
Pushkin and Thomas Moore…
Nikolay Gumilev and Yeats…
Seamus Heaney and Joseph Brodsky…
Our celebration will feature readings from several works including Gumilev’s important play Gondla, available for the first time in a language other than Russian thanks to Philip’s verse translation (Arlen House 2016).
…I am drunk on the wine
Of grace, and ready for death.
I am coin. The Creator buys
Through me the salvation of wolves.
Osip Mandelstam quoted these lines from Gondla to Anna Akhmatova as they walked through Leningrad shortly before Mandelstam’s arrest. A number of Great Russian poets of that period accepted a prophetic calling. Gondla is their manifesto. The play’s Irish theme echoes Yeats’s The King’s Threshold and Pearce’s The Singer. Gumilev visited Yeats in 1917 and was translating The Countess Cathleen at the time of his execution in August 1921.
Seamus Heaney alludes to Mandelstam in his poem ‘Exposure’ (from North):
Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.
‘I read about the tragic logic of Osip Mandelstam’s fate…What I was longing for was not quite stability but an active escape from the quicksand of relativism, a way of crediting poetry without anxiety or apology’- Seamus’s Nobel Lecture, 1995