Yana Djin --Preface Inevitable


     I find it ironic that the book of my poetry should appear in the country of my birth in the form of translations. But this is true only on a superficial level. Language, as far as I am concerned, is circumstantial evidence; it is an imperfect tool which translates our spirit into the currency of words. If one is to regard language as the measure, then, I am an English poet. Spiritually, however, I feel closer to the Russian poetic tradition. 
       Language is squeemish and does not tolerate impurities. Spirit, however, is a liberal and stands for multiple varieties of mutations.
And that is exactly what I consider my poetry – a mutation of English words and the Russian spirit. Due to the details of my biography, I started to write poetry in the English language, simply because that was the sound I heard outside myself. If I had lived in France, instead of America, I would have written in French. Language – like any currency – is substitutable. The spirit, though, is our essence – we can neither spare it nor change it and it speaks not in words but in deeds, which usually need no translation.
       Speaking of the latter, I would like to express my gratitude to the translators, Vladimir Gandelsman and Nodar Djin, who found it possible to suppress squeamishness and selfishness within their hearts and undertook the effort of dabbling in someone else's spiritual gambles and struggles with Time. That is, after all what poetry is: a poet’s struggle with Time. I sincerely hope, that the reader will, upon reading some of these poems, not always judge in favor of Time.
       I would also like to thank Nodar Djin, my father, not only as the translator but as someone who has made the above-mentioned details of my biography easier to bear. His life and his writing clearly showed me that no matter where you are and what language you speak, your spirit or your soul is the only commodity worth guarding  because without  it  or  with  it i n  a  compromised form, you become a sum of interdependent, but more often, sorry circumstances. 
       At the risk of sounding like a Hollywood starlet about to accept an award, I would also like to thank my mother, Zina Baazova, for her support and abundant tolerance which is a requisite when dealing with another human being.
       With gratitude and love, I dedicate this book to my parents.

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