[The poems in this volume] focus on the richest and most eventful years of Tsvetayeva’s life. … [Tsvetayeva] presents an enormous challenge to a translator, and Kossman demonstrates her respect for the poet by eschewing formal imitation. Her aim, she states, is ‘to create readable English poems.’ …she succeeds admirably, through a carefully selective use of Tsvetayeva’s methods. . . .In general, the translations can, as their creator hopes in her introduction, stand on their own as attractive and provocative poems, as well as being a satisfying addition to the growing oeuvre in English of a demanding, rewarding Russian poet.
—World Literature Today
The introduction to the volume is sensitive, insightful, and informative. The selection of poems is intelligent and provides an excellent overview of Tsvetayeva’s artistic evolution. … Kossman copes admirably with the difficulties of Tsvetayeva’s poetry…she succeeds in capturing the dynamic intensity of the original.
…though she lets in rhyme and rhythm only where they distort nothing, she does have as prime concern the preservation of line length and line content, a care that appears to promote, in these very accurate translations, the communication of intensity and energy…” —Encyclopedia of Literary Translation