Carcanet £7.99 (166pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Bride of Ice, By Marina Tsvetaeva
Friday 31 July 2009
As storm-tossed and shock-filled as the times that bred it, Marina Tsvetaeva's ruggedly spectacular poetry traces the path of one smouldering genius through Russia's revolution, turbulent exile in Prague and Paris, and unhappy return to Stalin's terror-stricken Soviet Union.
Working from literal versions, Elaine Feinstein first published her electrifying translations of Tsvetaeva in 1971. This expanded selection contains some mesmeric additions – most of all, the "Girlfriend" sequence about her lover Sofia Parnok that this recklessly passionate poet wrote in 1914-1915, when the scandalous fury of love meant that "History itself is forgotten".
The savage beauty and coruscating sadness of Feinstein's renderings make this edition a priceless audience with one of the voices of the century - a talent that soared above the din in a "madhouse of the inhuman".
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