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My Poems: Selected Poetry Of Marina Tsvetaeva (English and Russian Edition) Paperback – April 18, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Kneller, himself a poet, captures Tsvetaeva's passion and discipline, her voice and intent. His translation is clear and precise while keeping the music and rapture of the original.
As part of my (re)immersion in Russian Silver Age poetry, I'm also reading Kneller's selections from Akhmatova ("Final Meeting") and Pasternak ("February"). In these books, Kneller channels their intelligence and sensitivity.
Take note of this young poet and translator who transmits the beauty and power of these Russian poets with imagination, integrity and understanding.
[Correction: I received the paperback edition, not the Kindle.]
She published her first book of poems when she was 18, and she was something of an overnight literary sensation. She continued to publish, and then came World War I and the Russian Revolution. Her husband, Sergei Efron, joined the White Army during the Russian civil war. During the great Moscow famine in 1919, she placed her daughters in a state orphanage; one of them died of starvation. Three years later, the family fled Russia and eventually settled in Paris. They lived in poverty; her husband found work as an agent for the Soviet secret police.
Returning to Russia in 1939, her husband was arrested and executed, and her surviving daughter was sent to a labor camp. She and her son fled eastward as the German armies invaded Russia. In August, 1941, Marina Tsvetaeva committed suicide.
What she left behind was her poetry, poems full of passion, emotion and yearning, poems about love and the devastation of a country, and devastation of a life.
“In the Winter” is from a collection of selected poems entitled “My Poems,” translated and published in 2011 by poet Andrey Kneller.
The bells again break the silence,
Waiting with remorse…
Only several streets divide us,
Only several words!
A silver sickle lights the night,
The city sleeps this hour,
The falling snowflakes set alight
The stars upon your collar.
Are the sores of the past still aching?
How long do they abide?Read more ›
First, a remark about translating poetry - as Kneller writes in the introduction, poetry is ridiculously difficult to translate: "(translators) focus so much on word choice and literal meaning that in the end all of the supporting details are lost, and the reader is left with a skeleton of what used to be a beautiful poem. This is not a *translation*, this is a *transgression*." Towards these ends, Kneller has made a noble effort to both "preserve details, without losing sight of the big picture. Meter, rhyme, line length - al these elements are essential in understanding the complexity and beauty of Marina Tsvetaeva's work." He has brilliantly succeeded with the collection here.
The collection is dual-language, as those with even a passing familiarity with Russian will be able to get a sense of the work. The English translations are excellent as well, as meter and especially rhyme are preserved, while still maintaining the overall poetic sensability. This is no easy feat, and I am very impressed with Kneller's work. In fact, his translation is why I give the book a 5-star review rather than 3 or 4 stars.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tsvetaeva was gifted with a profoundly lyrical voice. She crafted that kind of poetry that mirrors every raw, unrestrained emotion. Read morePublished 5 months ago by flor
I discovered Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry quite by accident, while searching the quotes at Goodreads. Her poems are full of fire and spirit, but also longing and heartbreak. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Smart Cookie
I won't add much to what others have said. Great stuff. A side-by-side with other translations shows Andrei to have all the poetic skill needed to make such translations come... Read morePublished 14 months ago by R. Miller
I would rather read the forthcoming translations by Jean Valentine and her co-translators. The essence of Tsetaeva's poems didn't come through. Wish I had returned it.Published on June 19, 2014 by raquelita
Great translation of beautiful poetry, reaching a non-Cyrillic reading audience it may have otherwise eluded. Keep up the good work, Kneller.Published on May 9, 2014 by Tara Mihovich
A lovely little introduction to Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry, beautifully translated by Andrey Kneller. Read morePublished on May 6, 2014 by Mark Akins
A lovely little introduction to Marina Tsvetaeva's poetry, beautifully translated by Andrey Kneller. Read morePublished on May 4, 2014 by Stefani Akins