Maria Tsvetaeva (1893-1941)

  1. Ilya Ehrenburg reads Marina Tsvetaeva – You Walk, Resembling Me

Poem, 1913, 1'51"
Voice – Ilya Ehrenburg
Recording – unknown date

Marina Ivanova Tsvetaeva (b. Moscow 1893 - d. Yelabuga 1941) was a poet. As a child she studied music, but as an adolescent she was already interested in French and German romantic poetry - by 1910 she had published her first book. Her work always maintained an independence, and was never subsumed into any literary group, although she assimilated the innovations of the symbolists and the acmeists, maintaining a close emotional relationship with some of them, including [[Osip Mandelshtam]] and Anna Akhmatova. She employed direct language, archaisms and colloquialisms in her poetry, as well as assonant rhymes and free verse. She said, "I live and consequently I write too - by ear, that is, in confidence; this has never deceived me". An opponent of the October Revolution she said "Passion for each specific country and for what is concrete - that is my international. Not the third but the eternal." This sentiment led her into seventeen years of emigration after 1922; in Berlin, Prague and Paris. In Berlin she published several books of poems, with the help of her friend Ilya Ehrenburg (b. 1891 - d. 1967) a Soviet revolutionary writer and journalist. Ehrenburg reads Marina Tsvetaeva's poem here, since no sound recordings of her voice exist. Marina Tsvetaeva went back to the USSR in 1941, at the height of the Nazi invasion, where she was completely ignored. After her husband had been shot and her son was sent to work in a mining camp, she was sent to Yelabuga, where she committed suicide by hanging herself. Her poetry, in vision and style, is now amongst the most valued in contemporary Russian literature; as she herself said, "I can only be understood in terms of contrast, that is, in a simultaneous presence... I am many poets and as I have managed to harmonize all of them, that is my secret".

You walk, resembling me...

You walk, and look like me,
Your eyes directed down.
I also used to lower mine!
Hey you, passer by, stop!

Read-when you've gathered
A bouquet of buttercups and poppies,
That I was called Marina
And how old I was.

Don't think that this is a grave,
That I will appear, scary...
I myself loved too much
To laugh, when I shouldn't have!

And the blood would come to my face
And my hair was curly...
You passer by, I also was!
You passer by, stop!

Break yourself off a wild stem
And after it a berry,
No wild strawberry is larger or sweeter
Than one from a graveyard.

Only don't stand gloomily,
Dropping your head on your chest,
Think about me easily,
As easily then forget!

How the sun's ray shines upon you!
You're all covered in golden dust...
Don't l
et it disturb you,

Russian Futurists from the GLM Collection (1920-1959)
Sound Experiments in The Russian Avant-Garde (1908-1942)