Poem by Marina Tsvetayeva for Parted Lovers (trans Elaine Feinstein)
I leave for a writing retreat in North Wales tomorrow where I will keep this poem in mind.
No one has taken anything away
No one has taken away anything—–
there is a sweetness for me in being apart.
I kiss you now across the many
hundreds of miles that separate us.
I know: our gifts are unequal, which is
why my voice is—–quiet, for the first time.
What can my untutored verse
matter to you, a young Derzhavin?
For your terrible flight I give you blessing.
Fly, then, young eagle! You
have stared into the sun, without blinking.
Can my young gaze be too heavy for you?
No one has ever stared more
tenderly or more fixedly after you…
I kiss you—–across hundreds of
Marina Tsvetayeva, Selected Poems , trans. Elaine Feinstein (London: Hutchinson, 1986), p. 3–4.