When I was a ten-year-old book worm and used to kiss the dust jacket pictures of authors as if they were icons, it used to amaze me that these remote people could provoke me to love. - Erica Jong
Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (1892-1941)
The Russian Poet Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva was the daughter of the famous philologist, art historian, and Moscow State University (MGU) professor I.V. Tsvetaeva. 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 Tsvetaeva themes: love, Russia, and poetry. Her poetry is characterized by a whirlwind of wild impulse, pathetic intonation, sharp rhythmatic changes, and tantalizing, cantankerous aggression. Tsvetaeva compared her own poems to "little devils, bursting into the sanctum of dreams and incense."
Tsvetaeva'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, Tsvetaeva 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, Tsvetaeva 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, Tsvetaeva and her son fled to the city of Elaburg.
Marina Tsvetaeva left behind an illustrious legacy of poems, stories, prose, articles, drama, and even essays about Pushkin, Bedni, Brusov, Voloshin, Pasternak, and others.