Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (8 October 1892 - 31 August 1941) was a Russian and Soviet poet and writer born in Moscow. Her work was not looked kindly upon by Stalin and the Bolshevik r gime; her literary rehabilitation only began in the 1960s. Tsvetaeva's poetry arose from her own deeply convoluted personality, her eccentricity and tightly disciplined use of language. Among her themes were female sexuality, and the tension in women's private emotions; she bridges the mutually contradictory schools of Acmeism and symbolism.
Marina Tsvetaeva was born in 1892 and died in 1941.
Reviews - What do customers think about Selected Poems (Oxford Poets (Manchester, England).)?
see also Andrey Kneller Jun 2, 2008
see Andrey Kneller's book "My Poems" for good translations of M. Tsvetaeva that stay true to the original poems.
Criminally under read. Feb 11, 2006
Marina Tsvetaeva is simply amazing. Feinstein does a superb job here translating, considering Tsvetaeva is nearly impossible to translate out of Russian. This book is cheap, wonderful and most people I know end up getting a copy from me as a gift at some time.
This sounds like true poetry Mar 9, 2005
I do not know Russian. I cannot comment on whether or not Elaine Feinstein has captured or missed completely the supposedly brilliant aural qualities of the original verse. What I can say is that reading these poems I have a sense of true poetry. There is a depth of feeling and a passion, a soul being revealed in depth, a life in its sufferings and straining for beauty. Perhaps more words are irrelevant, and I shall just give a few excerpts from the book.
From ' I know the truth'
'The wind is level now, the earth is wet with dew, the storm of stars in the sky will turn to quiet, And soon all of us will sleep under the earth,we who never let each other sleep above it. '
From 'What is this gypsy passion for separation'
'that no one turning over our letters has yet understood how completely and how deeply faithless we are, which is to say: how true we are to ourselves.'
From ' You loved me'
You loved me. And your lies had their own probity. There was truth in every falsehood Your love went far beyond any possible boundary as no one else's could.
Your love seemed to last even longer than time itself. Now you wave your hand- and suddenly your love for me is over! That is the truth in five words."
Reigning love Oct 15, 2003
Tsvetaeva's life was filled with tragedy (she lived through and in Revolutionary Russia (her husband fought for the White Army) and in Czechoslovakia during the German occupation) her heart shouted for a personal love the message which rings echoing through her words as she has deep philosophical understanding and awareness of her world which she rides over like gravel in fodder for her clinging to the personal loves of her heart which reigned supreme. She spat her poverty and desperation with pride at the shallow, whoever they might be, and challenged the dignity of heaven. She was a powerful poet who believed in living each moment for what it was and holding love at an undisputable high.
Some of my favorite quotes from segments of the book...
Because even more than God himself I love his angels. From: Bent with Worry
He is the one that mixes Up the cards And confuses arithmetic and weight Demands answers from the school bench Who altogether refutes Kant From: The Poet
We entered one another's eyes As if they were oases
All poets are Jews
Everything that I love changes from an external thing into an inward one, from the moment of my love, it stops being external (from the Introduction).
I can't attest to the authenticity of the translations, as I know little Russian, Reviews seem mixed; but Feinstein, for me, makes some engrossing connections of words that must ring true to some extent.
Terrible Translations Feb 28, 2001
Finestein's translations are so awful, it is no wonder that few English speakers want to know who Tsvetaeva is. She loses the rhythm, rhyme, literary devices, and everything for which Tsvetaeva's poetry is so loved. The duality of meanings and word play is also completely lost. Try Angela Livingstone's translations - they are excellent.