Dark Elderberry Branch by Marina Tsvetaeva
Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva

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Synopsis

"A poet of genius."—Vladimir Nabokov

Via what Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine call "readings"—not translations—of fragments of Marina Tsvetaeva's poems and prose, Tsvetaeva's lyrical genius is made accessible and poignant to a new generation of readers. By juxtaposing fragments of her poems with short pieces of prose, we begin to know her as poet, friend, enemy, woman, lover, and revolutionary.

From "Poems for Moscow (2)":

From my hands—take this city not made by hands,

my strange, my beautiful brother.

Take it, church by church—all forty times forty churches,
and flying up over them, the small pigeons;

And Spassky Gates—in their flower—
where the Orthodox take off their hats;

And the Chapel of Stars—refuge chapel—
where the floor is—polished by tears;

Take the circle of the five cathedrals,
my soul, my holy friend.

Marina Tsvetaeva was born in Moscow in 1892 and died in 1941. Her poetry stands among the greatest works of twentieth century Russian writers.

Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the Whiting Writers' Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship awarded annually by Poetry magazine.

Jean Valentine won the Yale Younger Poets award for Dream Barker in 1965. Her eleventh book of poetry is Break the Glass, from Copper Canyon Press. Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965–2003 was the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry.


 

About Marina Tsvetaeva

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Marina Tsvetaeva was born in Moscow in 1892 and died in 1941. Her poetry stands among the greatest works of twentieth century Russian writers. Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived in the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. He is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. In 2008, Kaminsky was awarded the Lannan Foundation's Literary Fellowship, and in 2009, poems from his manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize. Currently, Kaminsky teaches Contemporary World Poetry, Creative Writing, and Literary Translation in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. Jean Valentine won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first book, Dream Barker, in 1965. Her eleventh book of poetry is Break the Glass, from Copper Canyon Press. Her previous collection, Little Boat was published by Wesleyan in 2007. Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003 was the winner of the 2004 National Book Award for Poetry. The recipient of the 2009 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, Valentine has taught at Sarah Lawrence, New York University, and Columbia. She was the New York State Poet Laureate from 2008 until 2010.
 
Published December 4, 2012 by Alice James Books. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dark Elderberry Branch

Publishers Weekly

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Famously passionate, and terrifyingly responsive to the disasters of the early 20th century, Tsvetaeva (1892–1941) stands among the best of Russian poets, but her short lyric forms and her spiritual depths have made her work hard to render persuasively in English.

Oct 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems...

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