Marina Tsvetaeva ( Translated from the Russian by Nina Kossman)

Marina Tsvetaeva English translations copyright (c) 1998 Poem of the End (Ardis, 1998), 190 pp. ISBN: 0-87501-112-8 Marina Tsvetaeva Translated from the Russian by Nina Kossman The Lord has rewarded me With a light-filled and iron heart. With a gift of singing, a tearful gift. The Lord has protected me With a white flag. The [...]

A bomb said to a city:

A bomb said to a city: "I'm falling." The city asked: "Whose side are you on?" The bomb said: "I take no sides. I'm falling." The city said: "Look around you." The bomb said: "Too late." The city did not say anything.


"After Agamemnon returned to Mycenae with Cassandra, he was murdered by Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra; for she gave him a shirt without sleeves and without a neck, and while he was putting it on he was cut down....And they killed Cassandra also." Apollodorus, The Library, Epitome, vi. 23 (tr. J. G. Frazer) CASSANDRA TO AGAMEMNON I've [...]


The stronger evidence of a cloud which carried him into the paper-strewn lot of a magnified dream no longer his own, no longer here, no longer alive, as it was when it used to entrap him. As it was, it was no longer a cloud that carried him. He, on a string of his dream, [...]


"Wishing to gain Cassandra's favors, Apollo promised to teach her the art of prophecy; she learned the art but refused her favours; hence Apollo deprived her prophecy of power to persuade." Apollodorus, The Library, III.xii.5 (tr. J. G. Frazer) HOW CASSANDRA BECAME CLAIRVOYANT So. You are Apollo. Well, that's a new one. As good a [...]


Eros's castle of seven red stones (seven on either side, seven behind ) built for the Soul: she lives in the ring of flame. Four trees shot up after the stones fell. Four blue flames leapt up, their heads touching. The duplicity of love, daimon, you, who obscure the imagery, neither divine and human, Babel [...]


"... he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom [...]


I will grow myself quiet leaves in the diffiicult silence of chastity. I will hide in the immense namelessness though each tree murmurs to him my name. I am the bed of leaves he can never scorch, not even with his eyes of fire. I am the naked face of the flower; a cross. He [...]

See how nothing keeps out of Pluto’s gorge

See how nothing keeps out of Pluto's gorge, silently drifts towards it, waits, sinks into the thickening dark, the unreflecting water, grave made of mud and stones: this way--to hide lizard shadows, here--to rob of flesh; though mercy's an unprofitable profession, save me from too much death.


Stone words hard to wield, smooth as the moon washed of night, shape me into a weapon no man can see except with the eyes of his bones. Words tight as skin in a fleshless space, worn thin in a cage of a promise, design fast the leap into the air no man can follow, [...]