I did not love it. I liked it. I was able to conquer my attention span and read 1,000 pages. That was more enlightening than the book itself. Tolstoy of course – a master. You see him in Levin. You find the most honorable writing in tribute to the Russian peasants. They are like the true heroic figures of this novel. All the society crap Anna was destroyed by. So sad. So predictable and timeless. All countries’ societies are the same. How people treat people. Drive some to suicide. Vronsky was very typical in many ways. A typical man with ambition and a sex drive. I hate how he left his horse to die and didn’t seem to care. In a way he treated Anna the same. But not on purpose. Unconsciously. The peasants with their scythes clearing the million acres of fields. Laughing. Not caring. Working. Living. Beautiful the way Tolstoy describes them. Levin aspires to live with them before he gets married. Maybe even after. Anna’s son and the scene where she returns to see him one final time – this scene is truly magnificent. Tolstoy’s gem. The best thing I got from this book was humbled (as a writer). Also delighted. By the tour of Moscow, St Petersburg, and the descriptions of hunting and farming in the Russian countryside.
#There’s nothing like the feeling of connection with poetry… “you tore into us drunk again one of your moods unpredictable charged”
#overall, this poetry style wasn’t for me. however, the author has a great flow, and even when a poem didn’t do it for me, i could still feel the rhythm of the words. i did really enjoy some of the poems! #It takes me what can seem like a long while to read a book of poetry that itself is not that many pages with poems that aren’t themselves pages long. I do this because, to me, poetry is a short form of expression that, even in its longer iterations, conveys deep emotions and intimate thoughts in terms sometimes abstract, but always involving a tone/mood. Katya Mills’ collection is ripe with such short poems that convey certain moods.
#i LOVED reading this book. i win it in a giveaway, and stayed up at four in the morning reading through it. im normally not a poetry person, but something about this book really made me connect with it. ill definitely be reading through again, making it like my daily one page at a time book.
#I’m not a big poetry reader but I’m very happy I got to read this gem. It was so refreshing and I really enjoyed reading it
hello friends! this is Katya. i am happy to announce i released my first book of poetry yesterday. Up From the Downtrodden. thanks for all your feedback here as many of the poems i chose to include came by looking at my wp statistics and finding the poems that you all loved the most over the past several years. i have been primarily an author of fiction and creative nonfiction, and all of my 6 published works on goodreads.com (and amazon.com) are either novels and novellas. i am fully independent and do all my own editing and self-publishing. i use beta readers to ensure the content is highest quality.
i took every poem through additional edits over the past year as i built this collection up, so poems you find in the collection will be more fully realized versions of themselves. the only way i’ve been capable of publishing a poem a day for the last 9 years (the promise i made to myself for a daily spiritual practice and meditation) has been to work quickly yet carefully, revisiting each poem 1-4 times, before the commitment. this process has left some room for potential and actualization. i believe you will not be disappointed if you choose to purchase (or, if you have amazon prime, you can read the ebook for free) the paperback. thank you for supporting independent authors like myself! – Katya Mills
Read 2 times. Last read October 27, 2020 to February 2, 2022.
I love the way this book wraps up, it was well worth it, after having struggled somewhat through hundreds of pages of half-drunken petty vainglorious power struggles within the web of social strata in 19th century Russia. [No spoilers here]. Traveling home to ‘the fatherland’ from the Swiss sanitarium by train, our prince makes the random acquaintance of Rogozhin, the second point in the tragic love triangle, to start the narrative. They have a lively conversation and there is little concern that such a well-meaning and honest/transparent man as our beloved so-called ‘idiot’ could get tangled up in such complicated and dangerous affairs. But the saying goes ‘if you hang around a barber shop long enough, you’re bound to get a haircut.’ And he is noticed by those who wish to take advantage, as a clear and easy mark. Everyone’s hoping to get ahead. Everyone but him. The prince only uses his royal stock to survive, as he is close to destitute at the start, and becomes quite naturally embedded in society circles in and around St Petersburg. He welcomes it, seeking out the company of not so distant relatives, the Epanchins, upon coming home. A wise thing to do back then, if you hoped to survive. He is in fact much wiser than they give him credit for. Most write him off for an idiot the moment he offers up a single honest remark in their company, making the judgment that he is oblivious to social cues and cannot know his place. The younger ones, however, like Kolya and Aglaya, can cut through the bullshit and know him for treasure and gravitate toward him. Even the madwoman Nastasya takes him for a gem amongst the innumerable sharp pebbles that make up her circles. He has the gift of a loving and compassionate nature, and the curse of falling spells at the worst possible time aka ‘dinner parties’ (known all too intimately by our beloved author who had epilepsy). Witnessing him navigate the world is a bit of a heartache for this reader. I confess I may not have completed the text were it not for my familiarity with the other great texts of our beloved author. One of my favorite characters was Nastasya, another Lebedev, and a third would be Ippolit, the 18 year old boy dying of consumption who knows his time is up. If you read Dostoyevsky’s biography, you will find a lifetime full of tragedy: the loss of 2 of his children (one just after birth, the other from an epileptic seizure), his first wife, and both his parents when he was just a teenager. He himself was sentenced to 4-5 years in the work camps in Siberia for the terrible crime of joining a literary circle and reading banned letters! Could anything be more Russian? He himself was condemned to death by firing squad and was already out on the square trying to make sense of his own life and untimely death before the Tsar called it off last minute. True story! Ippolit and the prince to me represent the tragic figures who sound out the author’s own strange and terrible experiences in life, and then let us listen to the voices as they echo through the canyons, trying and perhaps honestly failing to make sense of them. Having read the final page of this 600+ enormity, I am left with a sense of relief and gratitude for life, which comes without clear instructions for how exactly to live it, yet here we are provided a stern and dire warning: don’t ever think you can escape the influence of society.