An acclaimed translation of the best work of the passionate Russian poet
An admired contemporary of Rilke, Akhmatova, and Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva was a witness to the political turmoil and the social devastation wrought by the Russian Revolution and a powerfully inspired chronicler of a difficult life and exile sustained by poetry. Pasternak "was immediately overcome by the immense lyrical power of her poetic form. It... had spring living from experience--personal, and neither narrow-chested nor short of breath from line to line but rich and compact and enveloping"
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About this Author
Marina Tsvetaeva was born in Moscow in 1892, the daughter of a pianist and a museum curator. After enjoying a relatively secure and comfortable childhood, she published her first poems in 1910 and in 1911 married fellow poet Sergei Efron. They had two daughters before the Russian revolution broke out, and it was at that time she began to experience the turmoil and brutality of early twentieth-century Russia. During the years of famine that ensued, she was forced to place her daughters in a State orphanage, where one of them died of malnutrition. Tsvetaeva later followed her husband to Czechoslovakia, where they lived in exile until Efron's return to Russia in 1937. Efron subsequently was arrested and died in a labor camp. Tsvetaeva returned to Russia with their son in 1939 but was driven to despair by the difficulty of finding food for the both of them, and, in 1941, she hanged herself. Along with Pasternak, Mandelstam, and Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva stands as one of the four great Russian poets of this century and is one of the most important woman writers in the Western canon.
Elaine Feinstein is a prizewinning poet and novelist and the author of highly praised biographies of Alexander Pushkin, Marina Tsvetaeva, and Ted Hughes. She lives in London.
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