A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva by Alyssa W. Dinega

By Alyssa W. Dinega

Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva's robust poetic voice and her tragic existence have frequently brought on literary commentators to regard her as both a martyr or a monster. Born in Russia in 1892, she emigrated to Europe in 1922, lower back on the top of the Stalinist Terror, and devoted suicide in 1941. This paintings makes a speciality of her poetry, rediscovering her as a significant philosopher with a coherent inventive and philosophical imaginative and prescient.

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This dialectic between loneliness and love quite possibly lies at the root of all the others, insomuch as it provides the impetus throughout Tsvetaeva’s life for her constant reevaluation of her stance as a poet with respect both to humanity and to Poetry as a whole—and, therefore, continual inspiration for and obligation toward her poems. It is important to emphasize that the problem of alterity that is central to this study is not simply an arbitrarily selected theoretical tool, but is, periodically, the subject of Tsvetaeva’s own explicit scrutiny.

The difference—and thence the joy (vs. the other poem’s frenzied exhilaration)—emanates from the poet’s realization in ‘‘The Drum’’ that despite her loneliness, her cause is shared. Her ideal readers, whose hearts she sets out to conquer, and her fellow poets, whom she leads into battle—these are the intermediate Walking the Poetic Tightrope 25 creatures who make possible a partial mending of the rift in Tsvetaeva between human and poet, and whose very existence promises her some measure of true companionship.

In the second stanza, Tsvetaeva’s essential difference from the mothers in the garden is defined: she is distinct from them, ultimately, not by virtue of age or nationality (these are just accidents, variable conditions) but by virtue of her poetic sensibility. Precisely because of this sensibility, she is unable, as they do, to live in the singular, the concrete, the personal, the momentary. ’’ She sees clairvoyantly, poetically, metaphorically; in this way, poetic agency fundamentally separates her from the young women she describes and envies.

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