Poems in English

/Poems in English
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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 [...]

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 [...]

CASSANDRA TO AGAMEMNON

"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 [...]

IN HIS FINAL DREAM

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 [...]

HOW CASSANDRA BECAME CLAIRVOYANT

"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 [...]

EROS AND CHAOS

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 [...]

JUDAS’ REPROACH

"... 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. [...]

DAPHNE HERSELF

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 [...]

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 [...]

LINES (I)

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 [...]

SHADOW OVER THE TOWN

Helen's shadow on Trojan rocks still threatens the Greeks, burdens them with the highest taxes the loved exacts from the lover: middle-class teashop warmth forsaken, adding machines count the killed, a scarce spring, a fruitless [...]

Naked leaves sifted nightly

Naked leaves sifted nightly, gathered, fondled, and stored in long sheets of black fire, nailed firm to stars, free of feelings' clatter, freed most of all from the earth whose fingertips touched fire, arms steeped [...]

Look inside the face

Look inside the face traced with the world's moist stone into the mirror of every kindness gentle bones and a hundred glories could neither imitate nor efface; see the white mingle with gold, the gold [...]

THE FLOCK

See how the black flock of quietly fallen birds stares, swallowing air, at the air staring down. Their minds become wings, their startled dreams of the sky insidiously sawed down to its very blueness-- the [...]

DREAMER

He dreams his way up to being, quietly, with unhurried breath, as though breath were a blossomed staircase leading to a perfect sky where kind-eyed gods themselves with slow, sinuous movements, ancient skin and immaculate [...]

LIFE WITHIN A MUSEUM

To see faces of men, remote and deep, remote as in a listener singing without words, singing and seeing the processions of thousands waiting for the picture to drift and sing organize into prismatic perceptions [...]

IMAGINE TWO

I have too clear a mind for dreaming, she said as she ordered her thoughts away from the distances they were meant to approach and surround with incantations of thought, with benedictions that carried cloudiness [...]

WAKEFULNESS

The left hand of darkness is light walking backward. The absolute is the runaway smell of an ancient rain. The mouth we kiss is not the mouth we stake our fate on. Look: the throb [...]

SHAPE OF A WHISPER

The shape of a whisper? What else do these bones promise? Lying in wait of some body's love, stretching thin arms, twitching thin nose, witholding kisses with a halting hum, why, they are growing instant [...]

HIS HAPPINESS

The actual event was no longer of any interest. A destiny, exquisitely thought through, had folded into a life. So much for the fluctuating approximations of intelligent power, purposeful sky. He tested his strength in [...]