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Blok's The Twelve

10th July 2017

Translator and writer Frances Robson has recently published a translation that will be sure to interest those with both an interest in translation into Scots, and Russian culture and history.  Frances has produced a version of Alexander Blok’s ‘The Twelve’ to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its publication in 1917.

Alexander Blok (1880-1921) was born in St Petersburg, the son of a professor of law, and later lived near Moscow where he became a poet with a particular interest in political themes. He was enthusiastic about the Russian Revolution of 1917 and decided to write his poem ‘The Twelve’ which describes the march through St Petersburg (Petrograd) of twelve Red Army soldiers. However, as the Revolution progressed, and Russian society became bitterly divided, Blok began to despair of the situation, which becomes apparent in his work. He ultimately became disillusioned by the course of the Revolution and, while attempting to leave Russian for the sake of his health, worsened and died. He is today regarded as among the great poets of Russia.

Frances Robson has produced a version of ‘The Twelve’ in Scots. The original version in Russian appears next to the version in Scots on facing pages. The booklet is available for £5 plus £1 postage and packaging directly from Frances by contacting for more information.