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Friday, 6 October 2017

MARINA TSVETAEVA, from “Poems to Czechoslovakia”

From “Poems to Czechoslovakia”, May 9, 1939; Poetry Foundation - NEW VERSIONS FROM THE RUSSIAN BY ILYA KAMINSKY AND JEAN VALENTINE

Czechoslovakia is the setting for Poem of the End, which re-lives the last phases of Marina Tsvetaeva's most intense love affair, Carol Rumens, Poem of the Week, 2.6. 2008, The Guardian

"Tsvetaeva had moved to Czechoslovakia in 1921, the setting for a magnificent sequence, Poem of the End, which re-lives the last phases of her most intense love affair. I've chosen the eighth poem of the cycle, a powerful, almost mesmeric piece of writing that seems to walk the couple's own walk as they cross Prague, clinging together and discussing their impending separation. (Note that in the penultimate stanza, "as it ends" is indented in the original, an important effect that may not be reproduced in all browsers, but which readers can imagine)" - Carol Rumens.

Elaine Feinstein reads - 8th Lyric Of The Poem Of The End (by Marina Tsvetaeva, written in Prague)

"Lovers for the most part are without hope: passion also is just a bridge, a means of connection...

If you are warm, who will you go to tomorrow for that? This is delirium, please say

this bridge cannot

end  as it ends"

From Homesickness (written in Paris):

Homesickness! That long

Exposure to misery!

It’s all the same to me –

Where I’m utterly lonely….

I won’t let the milky call

Of my native language tempt me.

It’s all the same to me in what

Tongue they misunderstand me!

Translated by A. S. Kline

For comparison, a verse from the Elaine Feinstein translation:

And I won’t be seduced by the thought of

my native language, its milky call.

How can it matter in what tongue I

am misunderstood by whoever I meet.

Read in Russian - A. Demidova reads the poem

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