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In the Inmost Hour of the Soul

" .. .1 have no love for life as such; for me it begins to have significance, i.e., to acquire meaning and weight, only when it is transformed, i.e., in art. If I were taken beyond the sea- into paradise-and forbidden to write, I would refuse the sea and paradise. I don't need life as a thing in itself." This, written by Tsvetayeva in a letter to her Czech friend, Teskova, in 1925, could stand as an inscription to her life. Marina Tsvetayeva was born in Moscow on September 26, 1892. Her fathel~ a well-known art historian and philolo- gist, founded the Moscow Museum of the Fine Arts, now known as the Pushkin Museum; her mother, a pianist, died young, in 1906. Marina began writing poetry at the age of six. Her first book, Evening Album, contained poems she had writ- ten before she turned seventeen, and enjoyed reviews by the poet, painter, and mentor of young writers, Max Voloshin, the poet Gumilyov, and the Symbolist critic and poet, Valerii Bryusov. Voloshin and Gumilyov welcomed the seventeen- year-old poet as their equal; Bryusov was more critical of her, though he too, in his own belligerent way, acknowledged her talent.
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You, rushing past on your streets.- The war, the war.- The leaves have fallen upon your gravestone.- The fatal volume.- Two suns are cooling.- After a sleepless night.- Sweetly-sweetly.- Black as an iris.- To kiss one's brow.- I came in.- The New Year's Eve.- I am not an impostor.- Here, darling, take these rags.- Words are inscribed in the black sky.- I am. You shall be.- I will tell you about the great hoax.- Spurned by my lover.- Dying, I will not say.- I am paper to your pen.- Your soul is close to mine.- Poems grow like stars.- Bring to me all that's of no use to others.- The sun is one, but marches through all lands.- Two trees.- God, I live!.- J am happy to live impeccably and simply.- My way does not lie by your house.- To you, who bid farewell to love.- There is a whole tribe of them pining after me.- Nailed to the Pillory... : I.- Nailed to the pillory...: II.- You wanted this.- Neither stanzas, nor stars will save me.- Earthly Name.- Roland's Horn.- Soul unacquainted with limits.- Shaggy star.- How they flare up.- Slowly, with a careful thin hand.- I know that mortal loveliness.- In the garden.- Pride and Timidity.- Praise to Aphrodite: I.- Parise to Aphrodite: II.- Praise to Aphrodite: III.- Praise to Aphrodite: IV.- From the mind's dreams.- With such force has her hand grasped.- The Muse.- Orpheus.- At dawn.- There's an hour for those words.- So, in the destitute daily toil.- Find yourself trusting women.- Remember the law.- When, Lord.- You will have your proof.- The Sibyl.- Sibyl-to the Newborn.- But even the joy of mornings.- From Trees: VI.- VII.- VIII.- IX.- These are ashes of treasures.- The gold of my hair.- God: I.- God: III.- Do not call out to her.- Ophelia-In Defense of the Queen.- It's no black magic.- The hour when the kings on high.- The hour when my dear brother.- As patiently as stones are chiseled.- With the others.- Window.- Sister.- The hour of bared riverheads.- To Steal By....- The Dialog of Hamlet with His Conscience.- The Crevasse.- The Curtain.- Sahara.- From The Hour of the Soul 1: In the inmost hour of the soul and the night.- 2: In the inmost hour of the soul.- Beyond Sight.- Minute.- From this mountain.- The Ravine.- I love you, but the torment is still alive.- You who loved me with the falsehood.- There are rhymes in this world.- It is not fated.- The Island.- Under the Shawl.- Thus-only Helen looks past the Trojan.- The Baptism.- Squeezed with the hollows.- A soldier, into a trench.- My veins slashed open.

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