My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 7

Two aristocratic women in silk white dresses are holding hands in the garden. They are smiling tenderly.
Illustration: The elegant Reventlow sisters by Heinrich August Georg Schiøtt (1840s)
My Translation: 
***
Her neck is lifted—young and free,
Like spring in reverie.
Who knows her name—who knows her age,
Who—home, who—century?

There is no light on these curved lips— 
Capricious and gentle—  
Yet I am blinded and eclipsed
By her Beethoven's temple.

It makes me tender—clear and lit,
Her face, a melted oval,
Her hand, in which a whip would fit,
And—in the silver—opal.

A violin bow could serve her hand,
But into silks it went,
How unrepeatable—this hand,
Unique, beloved hand.

(January 10, 1915)
Continue reading “My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 7”

~ The Poetics of Digital Media ~ Podcast

Show Notes

Are you interested in digital poetry? Do you want to know how technology transforms literary art? Then, this podcast is for you! Hosted by Veronika Sizova, “The Poetics of Digital Media” episode evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of posting poetry on social media, illustrates the concept of E-Poetry, and explains how digital media liberates literature through a combination of verbal, visual, and musical expressions. Finally, it provides a reminder that social media, despite its creative benefits, may also cause significant distress.

Continue reading “~ The Poetics of Digital Media ~ Podcast”

My Translation of Marina Tsvetaeva’s Cycle “Girlfriend” – Part 5

Illustration: Lady Before the Mirror by John White Alexander
***
I want to ask the looking glass 
With dusty, mistful dreams, 
Which road - which country shall You pass, 
And where Your shelter gleams.

Here, I behold: the ship's tall mast,
And You - on deck alone...
You - in the train's steam... Fields at dusk
Are gloomy and forlorn...

The dusky meadows bathe in dew,
Above - the ravens soar...
To the four winds I scatter You
And bless Your soul!

May 3, 1915

Click to see the original poem

Ode to Saint Petersburg

Snowy landscape with a statue of Peter the Great, the first Russian Emperor, covered by snow.
My photo of St. Isaac Cathedral and The Bronze Horseman (Peter the Great’s Statue), 2017.
The Spire of the Admiralty Building with an angel on top is visible, while the building itself is blocked by the snow-coated trees.
My photo of The Admiralty, 2017
The facade of the Winter Palace, framed by icy branches of trees.
My photo of the Winter Palace, 2017
Roses blooming in the Peterhof Gardens, surrounded by greenery.
My photo of The Peterhof Palace Gardens, 2020
Saint Petersburg - the city of the Dead,
Where dreaming spirits haunt the mist-cloaked streets.
A diadem of rubies crowns your head,
And silver armour lines your mighty fleet.

Let myriads of angels guard your spires
Against the pain and suffering of war:
Rejoice, the bygone northernmost empire,
Built on deception, cruelty, and gore!

The Winter Palace flaunts its azure gown -
A ballerina on the frozen lake,
Whose beauty flares, as if about to drown
Beneath the burden of her last mistake.

May a luxuriant, wild garden grow
Where once was land of misery and snow.

Song of the Raven

The artwork portrays a young woman sitting on the grass with a crow perched on her hand. Both of them look at the crescent shining brightly in the night sky.
Illustration: The Moon Asked The Crow by Christian Schloe
We are spending more time apart than together
Playing silent games…

Are we lovers or ghosts, lighter than feathers,
Leaving nebulous stains?

Let my longing be nectar to your amorous venom,
Which leads me astray -

Our memories echo a murderous raven
Looking for prey.

Tenderness has become a torturous weapon
In your loving hands,

And I swallow my words like the earth swallows Heaven
Each time it rains…

Ceci n’est pas une Rose

This painting features a rose blooming alone on the edge of a cliff surrounded by the sea; it is dawn, and there are beautiful clouds in the sky blending with the horizon.
L’utopie (Utopia) by René Magritte
This surrealistic painting captures a gigantic red rose, occupying an entire room.
Le tombeau des lutteurs (The tomb of the wrestlers) by René Magritte
This surreal image portrays the ocean ic beach at sunset. Instead of the sun, there is a large rose, which seems to float on the waves.
L’invitation au voyage (The Invitation to Travel) by René Magritte
A portrait of a woman gazing longingly at a rose in her long golden hair. There are impressionistic visions of the sea and the mountains in the background.
Le Roman Populaire (The Popular Novel) by René Magritte
If you were a rose,
You would hide in the dark
Until I discovered your delicate spark.

If you were a rose,
Every flower would fade,
Entranced by the perfume which you radiate.

If you were a rose,
Your soft, velvety skin
Would cover my eyes with the raptures unseen.

If you were a rose,
I would kiss your wild thorns,
Crimson with blood, as it lingers and burns.

If you were a rose,
You would bloom all year long,
Drinking my tears when I cry, all alone.

If you were a rose,
You would grow in my heart,
Entwining it gently, as you tear me apart.

My garden has blossomed 
With sorrow and loss.
Why didn't you tell me that you were a rose?

An Acrostic Sonnet to My Readers

This painting portrays a young woman standing by the sea in a light flowing dress. She is bending her head to observe a shiny pearl in her hand.
“The Sea Hath its Pearls” by William Henry Margetson
This impressionistic artwork depicts the back of the woman, with her head resting on her hand. She is looking at the summer scenery and the vast blue sky above her.
“Longing” by Heinrich Vogler
To all of you, entranced by subtle verse,
Here lies a gift concealed between the lines -
As though a scintillating pearl, enclosed
Naively by the effervescent rhymes.
Kindling above the fervent windswept waves,
Your gentle words transcend the leaden clouds!
Ornate, like scarlet flames, the heartfelt praise,
Unvanquished, burns away my puerile doubts.
So I remain a prisoner, alone
Ordained to dwell in the Siberian steppe -
May there be solace - when the warmth is gone,
Upon your eyes, rains softly my regret.
Creating threads of poetry at night,
How blessed I am to have your vibrant light!

A Fiery Sonnet

This digital painting depicts a woman-artist, holding a round mirror in one hand and a palette with two brushes in the other. The young lady reflecting in the mirror, her model, is smiling at the painter lovingly.
“Portrait de la jeune fille en feu” by Vasilisa Semiletova

This poem is dedicated to the film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” The exquisite digital painting for the sonnet was created by my dearest friend, a talented young artist Vasilisa Semiletova. You can behold her masterpieces here: https://vk.com/elopeople, and don’t hesitate to follow her Instagram!

I paint my dear love in subtle tones
Upon the canvas, luminous and warm.
Before my eyes - stripped to the bare bones -
Her soul ignites, as though about to burn…

"If you observe me, who do I look at?" -
Her question sets my quietude aflame.
"Remember us, beloved, don't regret:
Your portrait glows within a golden frame!"

The years pass: my heart still skips a beat
Whenever it recalls the day she smiled;
I turned around, confessing my defeat,
Forever from the lover's arms exiled.

Alas, her longing gaze did not meet mine,
Enraptured, when I saw her one last time.