Boris Pasternak, the Nobel laureate and author of Doctor Zhivago, composed one of the world's great love poems in My Sister - Life. Written in the summer of 1917, the cycle of poems focuses on personal journeys and loves but is permeated by the tension and promise of the impending October Revolution.
Osip Mandelstam wrote: "To read the poems of Pasternak is to get one's throat clear, to fortify one's breathing. . . . I see Pasternak's My Sister - Life as a collection of magnificent exercises in breathing . . . a cure for tuberculosis." This English translation, rendered with verve and intelligence by Mark Rudman, is a heady gust that matches the intensity and power of the original Russian text.