Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Ilya Kaminsky's revisions of his poem "To Live" for his collection "Deaf Republic"

The version of Ilya Kaminsky's poem "To Live" on the Berlin-based website Lyrikline must be an early version Kaminsky revised to fit the story in his 2019 collection "Deaf Republic". On Lyrikline, Kaminsky's Alonso engages in "a little foolishness" with his wife: "I pretend to Sonya that I am the greatest poet / and she pretends to believe it." But in the book, the poem is part of a story in which Sonya has been executed by an occupying power, so the second line has changed: "and she pretends to be alive". A similar shift takes place later: "Old fool, my wife laughs" becomes "Old fool, my wife might have laughed". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 20 April 2022)

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