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“Nowadays too/the poet’s rhyme/is a caress/and a slogan/a bayonet/and a knout!” wrote Vladimir Mayakovsky in 1926, when it was already getting difficult for Soviet poets to brandish literary bayonets. Just how pointed verse could be under Lenin, Stalin, and their successors may be illustrated by today’s bilingual reading of 20th-Century Russian Poetry. The event marks the publication of 20th-Century Russian Poetry: Silver and Steel, a new anthology edited by Yevgeny Yevtuchenko, arguably not the sharpest bard of his age. At 7 p.m. (a reception follows at 8 p.m.) in the Library of Congress’ Madison Building, Mumford Room, 1st & Pennsylvania Ave. SE. FREE. (202) 707-5000. (MJ)