"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
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Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Friday, 3 July 2009

Tsvetaeva in Pimlico: Russian Poetry at the Tate

To Tate Britain for the launch of the newly revised and expanded edition of Bride of Ice: New Selected Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva translated by Elaine Feinstein. This was a very swanky venue at the Rex Whistler Restaurant at Tate Britain so I assume some Russian cultural foundation or other was footing the bill for a small poetry press (Michael Schmidt, the boss of Carcanet had to double up, in more traditional small press style, as his own photographer for the evening). Lots of poets and writers turned up, including Ruth Padel, no doubt relieved to have the Oxford Professor of Poetry debacle put behind her, Dannie Abse, Michèle Roberts, Ruth Fainlight, Peter Robinson, Anthony Rudolf and others.

It was good to be reminded again how good, how powerful and moving this great 20th Century Russian poet is:-

In a world

In a world where most people
are hunched and sweaty
I know only one person
equal to me in strength.

In a world where there is
so much to want
I know only one person
equal to me in power.

In a world where mould
and ivy cover everything
I know only one person – you –
who equals me in spirit.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful poem. It says what matters the most.

Seesaw said...

Great Poet Tsvetaeva!