Does the past mean only what we want it to? Can anything at all be learned from a photgraph of a scrap of forgotten language? In Learning Russian, Diana Fitzgerald Bryden asks these and other questions with clear-eyed, compelling honesty, as she examines the seductive lure of the past. Rejecting easy nostalgia, she uncovers the roots of home in the hidden life of cities, in the family ties to the living and the dead, and in language itself through the work of the writers who inspire her. The poems of Learning Russian are haunted and haunting, infused with longing and the certainty of loss, they show what can be recovered, or made new, through poetry.