Vladimir Nabokov is acknowledged as one of the greatest prose stylists of the twentieth century, but his first love was poetry. This landmark new collection brings together the best of Nabokov's verse, including an extensive number of pieces that have never appeared in English before, newly translated from the Russian by his son Dmitri Nabokov, and with a new introduction by Thomas Karshan.
These masterly poems span the decades of Nabokov's career, from 'Music', written in 1914 and probably Nabokov's first recorded poem, to the short, playful 'To Vera', composed in 1974. 'The University Poem', one of Nabokov's major poetic works, is here in English for the first time: an extraordinary autobiographical poem looking back at his time at Cambridge, with its dinners, games, girls and memories, it is suffused with rich description, wit and verbal dexterity. Included too are the surreally comic 'A Literary Dinner', the enchanting, lyrical 'Eve', the wryly humorous 'An Evening of Russian Poetry' and a meditation on the act of creation, 'Tolstoy', as well as verse written on America, lepidoptery, sport, love and Nabokov's Russian homeland.
Filled with charm, irony and exuberance, the poems brought together in this volume are masterpieces of style and precision, showing a new, unexpected side to Nabokov the writer.