Poetic content [Poeticheskoe soderzhanie]: The first chapter of Efim Etkind’s Poetry and Translation [Poeziia i perevod]

Efim Etkind, Suzanne Eade Roberts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The text is a translation from Russian of the first chapter of Soviet theorist Efim Etkind’s 1963 work Poeziia i perevod [Poetry and Translation], in slightly abridged form. Etkind is a vital figure within the translation milieu of the ‘Thaw’ era of the late 1950s and early 1960s, when there was a policy of de-Stalinization and a degree of liberalization. Etkind’s insightful work on poetry translation using comparative stylistics reflected, in some ways, the cultural-political environment of the time. It differed radically from the Realist approach of Ivan Kashkin, who was influenced by Socialist Realism and Stalin-era rhetoric. Etkind pushed the boundaries of what could be said about translation. His apparently apolitical approach was in fact strongly politicized in the Soviet context, and his choice of authors and translators to discuss evidenced his sympathy for those out of favor with the regime and for fellow Jews. Appendices – including a glossary of poetic terms and some biographical notes – are attached for the reader’s benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-169
Number of pages34
JournalTranslation and Interpreting Studies
Issue number1
Early online date23 Apr 2024
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Suzanne Eade Roberts is undertaking doctoral research on Soviet translation thought. She is based at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter in the UK and is sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the South, West, and Wales Doctoral Training Partner- ship. She is also a translator from Russian, French and German.


  • Thaw
  • Efim Etkind
  • Soviet Union
  • literary translation
  • poetry translation
  • translation theory


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