Twenty More Poems from Marina Tsvetaeva
translated by Kline, A. S. (contact-email),
Marina Tsvetaeva (1892–1941) was a significant Russian poet whose work spans the turbulent early 20th century. She engaged with themes of love, alienation, and the struggle of the individual against society. Tsvetaeva chronicled the Russian Revolution and the subsequent Moscow famine during which her daughter Irina starved to death in a state orphanage. She left Russia in 1922 and lived with her family in increasing poverty in Paris, Berlin and Prague before returning to Moscow in 1939. Tsvetaeva’s life ended in suicide in 1941, following the arrest and execution of her husband Sergei Efron for alleged espionage, and the arrest of their daughter Ariadna (Alya). She was connected to fellow poets Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam, and Anna Akhmatova, although her relationship with them and the wider Soviet literary establishment was somewhat strained. Her legacy is that of one of Russia’s most intense and passionate poetic voices, albeit one that only received widespread recognition posthumously.
The poems of this edition include works from near the end of her life - including The Arrests and Last Poem which speak to the terror of Stalin’s Great Purge during the 1930s, and the personal loss of her own husband. Additionally, the collection presents poems dedicated to her contemporaries Boris Pasternak, Osip Mandelstam, and Alexander Blok.
Kline, A. S.
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