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Mary Jane White: “For You” by Marina Tsvetaeva

For you, I dissolve a handful of

Burnt hair in the glass.

So you will not eat, not sing,

Not drink, not sleep.

.

So youth give you no joy,

So sugar have no sweetness,

So you will not carry on in the dark night

With your young wife.

.

As my gold hair

Is become grey ash,

So your young years

Will become white winter.

.

So both deaf and blind,

So withered, like moss,

You will leave me,

Like my breath.


From Miles by Marina Tsvetaeva.

Marina Tsvetaeva (1882-1941), admired by Joseph Brodsky:  “Well, if you are talking about the twentieth century, I’ll give you a list of poets.  Akhmatova, Mandelstam, Tsvetaeva (and she is the greatest one, in my view.  The greatest poet in the twentieth century was a woman.” Translations by Mary Jane White appear in Starry Sky to Starry Sky (Holy Cow! Press 1988); New Year’s, an elegy for Rilke (Adastra Press 2007); Poets Translate Poets, (Syracuse 2013). After Russia: Poems of an Emigrant: After Russia, Poem of the Hill, Poem of the End and New Year’s (bilingual text, Adelaide Books (NYC/Lisbon, 2021).

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This entry was posted on February 18, 2022 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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