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"To be a boy of yours with fair hair", or Tsvetaeva as St. John in "The Disciple"

Posted 04-27-2010 at 05:08 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
Today I’d like to share a translation of Tsvetaeva’s #1 of “The Disciple” cycle. This is a passionate and energetic lyric poem with quite interesting similes. Right from the start Marina describes her fervent wish to be as close to her spiritual leader as young St. John, Christ’s favorite disciple, was to Jesus. However, at the end of a poem a heretic motive appears with a bonfire prepared for her master.

There are also two other interesting things about the verse. Thus, some lines...
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"The mighty glory of wings - is only trembling of lids - in front of You..."

Posted 04-15-2010 at 06:10 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
Updated 04-16-2010 at 01:46 AM by Helen Agaf (a good idea visited me a bit later)
It was the first poem from "The Disciple" cycle (yet it's #6 there) I decided to translate, as it caught my everything – attention, mind, imagination and breath. Marina managed to unite two things, quite difficult to be united within one place – macro- and microcosmos. As for her spiritual leader, he is addressed as You (capital letter), as if he was portrayed as God the Father. All objects given in plural are to emphasize his glory, though it is put implicitly by belittling...
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Prince Volkonski as Tsvetaeva's Messiah in "The Disciple" poems

Posted 04-14-2010 at 07:22 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
Yesterday, when I was working (again) on Tsvetaeva’s cycle of poems called “The disciple”, a sudden idea crossed my mind, that the addressee of the cycle was a complete mystery to me. It was quite interesting, because of personal spirit of the poems.

According to the cycle, Marina is someone’s devoted disciple, an eager follower, even an apostle. She deeply admires her spiritual leader and worships this unknown person as a god. There are motives of self-denial and self-sacrifice,...
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"My entire life is a romance with my own soul…"

Posted 04-09-2010 at 07:06 AM by Helen Agaf (Stars never fall, they travel)
Updated 04-12-2010 at 07:15 AM by Helen Agaf
“I’m strong, I need nothing, but my very soul! I want ease, freedom, understanding, - nobody to keep and to be kept tight! My entire life is a romance with my own soul…”

Marina Tsvetaeva about her own self
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