By Alyssa W. Dinega
Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva's strong poetic voice and her tragic existence have frequently triggered literary commentators to regard her as both a martyr or a monster. Born in Russia in 1892, she emigrated to Europe in 1922, back on the peak of the Stalinist Terror, and dedicated suicide in 1941. This paintings makes a speciality of her poetry, rediscovering her as a significant philosopher with a coherent creative and philosophical imaginative and prescient.
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Additional info for A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva
The speaker’s visual perspective likewise bespeaks distance; the low-bending branches and the children in the grass (not ‘‘frolicking in the grass’’ but simply in it, as if an attribute of it) seem to indicate that the scene is observed from above, while the abundance of plural nouns (branches, streams, alleys) further emphasized by the trifold repetition of the word children, the generalizing phrase ‘‘children, and more children,’’ and the ellipsis at the end of the third line serve to deconcretize both the speaker and the scene she describes.
The tripartite formula that ends this ﬁrst stanza begins Tsvetaeva’s transformation. a. piping shepherdess, a stock character from the clichéd genre of the poetic idyll) 26— who is herself more aesthetic object than speaking subject, and whose signiﬁcance to matters of real poetic importance is as circumscribed as that of her wool-spinning sister. To both of these entrapping feminine circles Tsvetaeva opposes a third option, a forward-marching vector: the craft of the marching drummer that is hers alone.
However, Tsvetaeva’s rhyming of ventsa (the marital crown) and ovtsa (sheep) in the ﬁrst stanza makes clear from the start her refusal to obey the herd instincts of which marriage is a prime symptom. ’’ In this way, certain poetic and linguistic tactics operate in the poem to undo its ostensible message of compliance. These tactics continue in the poem’s third stanza, where Tsvetaeva complements the preceding two stanzas’ catalogue of a young girl’s duties with the deftly executed limitation of her sphere of activity: ‘‘In my hand there is to be no sword, sound no string’’ [V moei ruke ne byt' mechu, / Ne zazvenet' strune].
A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva by Alyssa W. Dinega