The Poetry of Junna Moric

Rodney Patterson, State University of New York at Albany

Junna Moric's most recent book of poetry (with her own illustrations)--Takim obrazom came out in 2000 and was recognized as a major work. I've known Junna for nearly 25 years and consider her a first-rate poet, much of whose poetry during the Soviet period remained in the drawer. She was a maverick during Soviet times, and a maverick among mavericks (she wouldn't sign the writers' protests about the treatment of Metropol', for instance, though her close friends were involved in it). She wouldn't sign for a number of reasons, some of which she confided in me at the time, but one of them was that she's uncomfortable as part of any group. I know it wasn't a failure of nerve, for I witnessed her public put-down of a Party "protected species" at the Writer's Union during the Metropol' crisis. I'm sure she will always go her very own way. Years ago I also translated some of Junna's poetry (we sat like Il'f and Petrov as I translated--going over every word to be sure that Junna could accept the nuances of the English)--and recited it during her poetry-reading at the State University of New York at Albany. What I would offer in my paper is a study of the present voice and artistic/philosophic preoccupations of one of the pillars of the rebel generation that rose in the 60s, now becoming "seniors."