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Marina Tsvetaeva translations
I Know The Truth by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation by Michael R. Burch I know the truth?abandon lesser truths! There's no need for anyone living to struggle! See? Evening falls, night quickly descends! So why the useless disputes?generals, poets, lovers? The wind is calming now; the earth is bathed in dew; the stars' infernos will soon freeze in the heavens. And soon we'll sleep together, under the earth, we who never gave each other a moment's rest above it. # I Know The Truth (Alternate Ending) by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch I know the truth?abandon lesser truths! There's no need for anyone living to struggle! See? Evening falls, night quickly descends! So why the useless disputes?generals, poets, lovers? The wind caresses the grasses; the earth gleams, damp with dew; the stars' infernos will soon freeze in the heavens. And soon we'll lie together under the earth, we who were never united above it. # Poems about Moscow by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch 5 Above the city Saint Peter once remanded to hell now rolls the delirious thunder of the bells. As the thundering high tide eventually reverses, so, too, the woman who once bore your curses. To you, O Great Peter, and you, O Great Tsar, I kneel! And yet the bells above me continually peal. And while they keep ringing out of the pure blue sky, Moscow's eminence is something I can't deny... though sixteen hundred churches, nearby and afar, all gaily laugh at the hubris of the Tsars. 8 Moscow, what a vast uncouth hostel of a home! In Russia all are homeless so all to you must come. A knife stuck in each boot-top, each back with its shameful brand, we heard you from far away. You called us: here we stand. Because you branded us criminals for every known kind of ill, we seek the all-compassionate Saint, the haloed one who heals. And there behind that narrow door where the uncouth rabble pour, we seek the red-gold radiant heart of Iver, who loved the poor. Now, as "Halleluiah" floods bright fields that blaze to the west, O sacred Russian soil, I kneel here to kiss your breast! # Insomnia by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch 2 In my enormous city it is night as from my house I step beyond the light; some people think I'm daughter, mistress, wife... but I am like the blackest thought of night. July's wind sweeps a way for me to stray toward soft music faintly blowing, somewhere. The wind may blow until bright dawn, new day, but will my heart in its rib-cage really care? Black poplars brushing windows filled with light... strange leaves in hand... faint music from distant towers... retracing my steps, there's nobody lagging behind... This shadow called me? There's nobody here to find. The lights are like golden beads on invisible threads... the taste of dark night in my mouth is a bitter leaf... O, free me from shackles of being myself by day! Friends, please understand: I'm only a dreamlike belief. # Poems for Akhmatova by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch 4 You outshine everything, even the sun at its zenith. The stars are yours! If only I could sweep like the wind through some unbarred door, gratefully, to where you are... to hesitantly stammer, suddenly shy, lowering my eyes before you, my lovely mistress, petulant, chastened, overcome by tears, as a child sobs to receive forgiveness... # This gypsy passion of parting! by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch This gypsy passion of parting! We meet, and are ready for flight! I rest my dazed head in my hands, and think, staring into the night... that no one, perusing our letters, will ever understand the real depth of just how sacrilegious we were, which is to say we had faith, in ourselves. # The Appointment by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch I will be late for the appointed meeting. When I arrive, my hair will be gray, because I abused spring. And your expectations were much too high! I shall feel the effects of the bitter mercury for years. (Ophelia tasted, but didn't spit out, the rue.) I will trudge across mountains and deserts, trampling souls and hands without flinching, living on, as the earth continues with blood in every thicket and creek. But always Ophelia's pallid face will peer out from between the grasses bordering each stream. She took a swig of passion, only to fill her mouth with silt. Like a shaft of light on metal, I set my sights on you, highly. Much too high in the sky, where I have appointed my dust its burial. # Rails by Marina Tsvetaeva loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch The railway bed's steel-blue parallel tracks are ruled out, neatly as musical staves. Over them, people are transported like possessed Pushkin creatures whose song has been silenced. See them: arriving, departing? And yet they still linger, the note of their pain remaining... always rising higher than love, as the poles freeze to the embankment, like Lot's wife transformed to salt, forever. Despair has arranged my fate as someone arranges a wedding; then, like a voiceless Sappho I must weep like a pain-wracked seamstress with the mute lament of a marsh heron! Then the departing train will hoot above the sleepers as its wheels slice them to ribbons. In my eye the colors blur to a glowing but meaningless red. All young women, at times, are tempted by such a bed! # Every Poem is a Child of Love by Marina Tsvetaeva translation by Michael R. Burch Every poem is a child of love, A destitute orphan chick A fledgling blown down from the heights above? Left of its nest? Not a stick. Each heart has its gulf and its bridge. Each heart has its blessings and griefs. Who is the father? A liege? Maybe a liege, or a thief. Tags: Russia, Russian, translation, poet, poets, poetess, poems, Moscow, Akhmatova, truth, gypsy, women
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