Books: A Flight into Poetry

PRUSSIAN NIGHTS by ALEXANDER SOLZHENITSYN Translated by ROBERT CONQUEST 113 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $8.95. $2.95 paperback.

In 1969, before he was deported from Russia. Solzhenitsyn secretly made a recording of Prussian Nights, now available in the West. The author reads the 1,200-line war poem in the declamatory mode favored by many Russian poets, obviously savoring every line. Trochaic tetrameters and thumping end rhymes roll off his tongue. In an unexpectedly boyish baritone he interjects snatches of song, whispers, conversational asides and other special effects that hark back to his teen-age...

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