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“For what, for what do I endure and suffer?”

Someone will say that Tsvetaeva, too thin-skinned, too painfully experiencing her many dramas, was simply incompatible with life.

Someone will say that Tsvetaeva, too thin-skinned, too painfully experiencing her many dramas, was simply incompatible with life.

Marina Tsvetaeva was, without a doubt, the most emotional of the great Russian poets. And, apparently, the greatest: at least Joseph Brodsky considered her the best poet of the 20th century (“not the best Russian poet, even better than Akhmatova and Mandelstam, but the best in the world,” as Brodsky’s friend Lev Losev recalled). Her tragic fate, it would seem, has been explored in every detail – and still, most biographers cannot clearly say why in August 1941 she decided to end her life. Someone will say that Tsvetaeva, too thin-skinned, too painfully experiencing her many dramas, was simply incompatible with life …

Some of her brilliant poems – “I like that you are not sick of me”, “You, whose wide overcoats …”, “How many of them fell into this abyss”, “I will win you back” – have long become popular songs, and, alas, today their lyrics are almost impossible to separate from the music. On her birthday, we decided to recall a poem that escaped this fate – although in its own way no less popular.

Yesterday I looked into your eyes

And now – everything is squinting to the side!

Yesterday, before the birds sat, –

All larks today are crows!

I’m stupid and you’re smart

Alive and I’m dumbfounded.

Oh, the cry of women of all time:

“My dear, what have I done to you?!”

And her tears are water, and blood –

Water, washed in blood, in tears!

Not a mother, but a stepmother – Love:

Don’t expect judgment or mercy.

They take away cute ships,

The white road leads them away …

And a groan stands along the whole earth:

“My dear, what have I done to you?”

Yesterday I was lying at my feet!

Equated with the Chinese power!

Immediately opened both hands, –

Life fell out – a rusty penny!

Child killer on trial

I stand – unloving, timid.

I’ll tell you in hell

“My dear, what have I done to you?”

I’ll ask for a chair, I’ll ask for a bed:

“For what, for what do I endure and suffer?”

“Kissed – to wheel:

Kiss the other,” they answer.

I taught to live in the fire itself,

I threw it myself – into the icy steppe!

That’s what you, dear, did to me!

My dear, what have I done to you?

I know everything – do not argue!

Again sighted – no longer a lover!

Where love retreats

There comes Death the gardener.

Samo – what a tree to shake! —

In time, the ripe apple falls …

– For everything, for everything, forgive me,

My dear, what have I done to you!

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