No. 4 & 5


Marina Tsvetaeva  

Translated from the Russian by Julia Istomina  


You Walk, Resembling Me

You walk, resembling me,
Eyes downcast.
I lowered them – also!
Passerby, halt!
Read – buttercups
And bouquet of poppies gathered –
That they called me Marina
And how many years I had.
Don’t think, what’s here – a grave,
That I will appear, threatening…
I also loved too much 
To laugh, when disallowed!

But don’t stand frowning,
Head lowered onto chest.
Lightly of me think,
Lightly of me forget.

And blood flowed in skin,
And curls of mine twisted…
I also was, a passerby!
Passerby, halt!

Rip yourself a sprig wild
And berry in tow:
Gravesite strawberries
Larger and sweeter inexistent.

How ray yourself illuminates!
You’re covered in gold dust
- And don’t let it bother you
My voice from underground.

From Posture of a Swan 


Above the little church – light blue clouds,
Crow screams…
And walking through – colors of ash and sand –
Revolutionary forces.
Ah you’re lordly, you’re kingly my melancholy!

They have no faces and no names, -
No songs!
You’ve gotten lost, Kremlin chime,
A replacement lies within this windy forest.
Pray, Moscow, lay down, Moscow, to eternal sleep!

2 March 1917


From a harsh, fit Cathedral
You emerged to the squeal of passerby…
- Freedom! – First rate Lady of the
Marquis and Russian kings. 

The frightening sing-a-long is in practice, -
Mass is still ahead!
- Freedom! – Is a whore 
On a wild soldier’s chest!

   26 May 1917

(Balmont, having listened through: 
- I am not pleased – your scorn for this
Girl! I’m - offended for her!  Because –
(eyes rolled up in bliss) – another girl….
- How unfortunate, that I cannot answer you…
Like another soldier …)



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