The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads to madness. - Christopher Morley
Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaevna (1892-1941)
The Russian Poet Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaevna was the daughter of the famous philologist, art historian, and Moscow State University (MGU) professor I.V. Tsvetaevna. It was he who founded the Museum of Fine Arts (now the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts)
Marina began writing very early on. Her first publications appeared in 1908. In 1910, she came out with her first book, entitled "Night Album". Despite the small printrun, the book was noticed by such prominent writers as Brusov and Voloshin.
Two other books of Tsvetaeva's verses were soon published. These were "Magic Lantern" in 1912, and "From Two Books" in 1913. These books are based on the quintessential Tsvetaevna themes: love, Russia, and poetry. Her poetry is characterized by a whirlwind of wild impulse, pathetic intonation, sharp rhythmatic changes, and tantalizing, cantankerous aggression. Tsvetaevna compared her own poems to "little devils, bursting into the sanctum of dreams and incense."
Tsvetaevna's feelings about the revolution were complicated and ambivalent. In 1922 she traveled abroad to visit her husband, a former officer in the armed forces. This was a period of difficult emigration. They traveled to Paris, then Prague, then Berlin. During this period, Tsvetaevna wrote "Verses to my Son" in 1932, the satirical poem "Mouse-trap" in 1925, the book "After Russia" in 1928, and the collection of poems entitled "Verses to the Czech Republic" from 1938 to 1939.
On July 18, 1939, Tsvetaevna returned to her native land. She did a lot of translating and prepared a collection of her poetry for publication, but the outbreak of WWII kept this from happening. In 1941, Tsvetaevna and her son fled to the city of Elaburg.
Marina Tsvetaevna left behind an illustrious legacy of poems, stories, prose, articles, drama, and even essays about Pushkin, Bedni, Brusov, Voloshin, Pasternak, and others.