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Marina Tsvetaeva
Marina Tsvetaeva.jpg
Born Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva
(1892-10-08)8 October 1892
Moscow, Russian Empire
Died 31 August 1941(1941-08-31) (aged 48)
Yelabuga, Tatar ASSR, Soviet Union
Occupation Poet and writer
Education Sorbonne, Paris
Literary movement Russian symbolism
Spouse Sergei Efron
Children 3


Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva (Russian: Мари́на Ива́новна Цвета́ева; 8 October [O.S. 26 September] 1892 – 31 August 1941) was a Russian-Soviet poet. Her work is thought to be some of the greatest in twentieth century Russian literature.


She lived through and wrote of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Moscow famine that followed it.

In an attempt to save her daughter Irina from starvation, she placed her in a state orphanage in 1919, where she died of hunger.

Tsvetaeva left Russia in 1922 and lived with her family in increasing poverty in Paris, Berlin and Prague before returning to Moscow in 1939.

Her husband Sergei Efron and her daughter Ariadna Efron (Alya) were arrested on espionage charges in 1941; her husband was executed. Tsvetaeva killed herself in 1941.

Books of Tsvetaeva poetry in English translation

  • Marina Tsvetaeva: Selected Poems, trans. Elaine Feinstein. (Oxford University Press, 1971) ISBN: 0-19-211803-X
  • The Ratcatcher: A Lyrical Satire, trans. Angela Livingstone (Northwestern University, 2000) ISBN: 0-8101-1816-5
  • A Captive Spirit: Selected Prose, trans. J. Marin King (Vintage Books, 1994) ISBN: 0-86068-397-4
  • Earthly Signs: Moscow Diaries, 1917–1922, ed. & trans. Jamey Gambrell (Yale University Press, 2011) ISBN: 0-300-17959-6
  • Poem of the End: Selected Narrative and Lyrical Poems , trans. Nina Kossman (Ardis / Overlook, 1998, 2004) ISBN: 0-87501-176-4
  • Moscow in the Plague Year, translated by Christopher Whyte (180 poems written between November 1918 and May 1920) (Archipelago Press, New York, 2014), 268pp, ISBN 978-1-935744-96-2
  • Milestones (1922), translated by Christopher Whyte (Bristol, Shearsman Books, 2015), 122p, ISBN 978-1-84861-416-1
  • After Russia: the First Notebook, translated by Christopher Whyte (Bristol, Shearsman Books, 2017), 141 pp, ISBN 978 1 84861 549 6
  • After Russia: The Second Notebook, translated by Christopher Whyte (Bristol, Shearsman Books, 2018) 121 pp, ISBN 978 1 84861 551 9
  • In the Inmost hour of the Soul: Poems , trans. Nina Kossman (Humana Press, 1989) ISBN: 0-89603-137-3
  • Phaedra: a drama in verse; with New Year's Letter and other long poems, trans. Angela Livingstone (Angel Classics, 2012) ISBN: 978-0946162819
  • "Starry Sky to Starry Sky (Miles)", trans. Mary Jane White. (Holy Cow Press, 1988), ISBN: 0-930100-25-5 (paper) and ISBN: 0-930100-26-3 (cloth)
  • "Poem of the End" in "From A Terrace In Prague, A Prague Poetry Anthology", trans. Mary Jane White, ed. Stephan Delbos (Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 2011) ISBN: 978-80-7308-349-6
  • "After Russia", trans. Michael Nayden (Ardis, 1992).
  • "To You – in 10 Decades", trans. by Alexander Givental and Elysee Wilson-Egolf (Sumizdat 2012) ISBN: 978-0-9779852-7-2
  • Marina Tsvetayeva: Selected Poems, trans. David McDuff. (Bloodaxe Books, 1987) ISBN: 978-1852240257

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