Andrei Tarkovsky is widely regarded as one of the most significant filmmakers of modern times. Fundamental to his practice are the poems that his father, Arsenii, created. They resonate through many of the films, and offer levels of meaning which lie undetected to the unknowing eye. For the first time this book presents not only accurate and beautiful renditions of these poems in English, but also a penetrating and illuminating presentation of the dynamic creative relationship between father and son that informed so much of Andrei Tarkovsky's work. Arsenii Tarkovsky's first collection of poems appeared in 1962, the year his son was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for his first feature film, Ivan's Childhood. To the audiences of Andrei Tarkovsky's films his father's poems played a key role, but to many people they were new, as his work had fallen foul of Soviet censorship. While his son's place in film history is acknowledged world-wide, Arsenii Tarkovsky is still little-known outside Russia beyond certain lines in Andrei's films.
Selected either because of their relevance to Andrei's films or simply through personal choice, the 148 poems explore universal themes such as love, nature, family, ageing, war and memory. With two introductory essays, extensive notes and appendices, this volume extends the usual parameters of a poetry book by placing it within the context of the father/son and poet/film-maker relationship that so dominates the Tarkovsky story.