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Bride of Ice
New Selected Poems
Translated by Elaine Feinstein
RRP: GBP£ 14.95
Available from: Buy now from Amazon
ISBN: 978 1 847778 38 3
Categories: 20th Century, Jewish, Russian, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: August 2011
140 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), Paperback
Now through the window crack
I dream another dream
Darkness over a track,
and I am with my son.
The blood congeals in my veins.
Let some guide lead us on!
from 'On a Red Horse' by Marina Tsvetaeva
When Elaine Feinstein first read the poems of Marina Tsvetaeva in Russian in the 1960s, the encounter transformed her. 'What drew me to her initially,' she writes, 'was the intensity of her emotions, and the honesty with which she exposed them.' Her translations, first published to great acclaim in 1971, introduced Tsvetaeva to English readers. It was the start of Feinstein's continuing engagement with a poet who has been an enduring, challenging inspiration to her, and whose life she has written.
To this enlarged edition Elaine Feinstein adds five major pieces. 'Girlfriend', a sequence of lyrics, was written for Tsvetaeva's lover Sofia Parnok. In 'New Year's Greetings' she responded to the death of Rainer Maria Rilke. 'On a Red Horse' is a dramatic fairytale of power and cruelty. 'Wires', of which two lyrics were included in the earlier edition, now appears in full; and a previously omitted lyric from 'Poem of the End' has been translated. With a new introduction, notes and bibliography of works in English, Bride of Ice brings Tsvetaeva to a new generation of readers.
'Like numerous English readers, I owe my discovery of Tsvetaeva to the multi-talented poet and writer, Elaine Feinstein... Feinstein's translations prove that a poem can be re-born in its adoptive language.' - Carol Rumens
Cover painting: Seated Woman with Bent Knee (detail) by Egon Schiele 1917. Copyright The Bridgeman Art Library. Cover design by StephenRaw.com
'Like numerous English readers, I owe my discovery of Tsvetaeva to the multi-talented poet and writer, Elaine Feinstein... Feinstein's translations prove that a poem can be re-born in its adoptive language.' - Carol Rumens Praise for Marina Tsvetaeva 'Represented on a graph, Tsvetaeva's work would exhibit a curve - or rather, a straight line - rising at almost a right angle because of her constant effort to raise the pitch a note higher, an idea higher (or, more precisely, an octave and a faith higher.) She always carried everything she has to say to its conceivable and expressible end. In both her poetry and her prose, nothing remains hanging or leaves a feeling of ambivalence. Tsvetaeva is the unique case in which the paramount spiritual experience of an epoch (for us, the sense of ambivalence, of contradictoriness in the nature of human existence) served not as the object of expression but as its means, by which it was transformed into the material of art.'
- Joseph Brodsky. Praise for Elaine Feinstein 'Like numerous English readers, I owe my discovery of Tsvetaeva to the multi-talented poet and writer, Elaine Feinstein... Feinstein's translations prove that a poem can be re-born in its adoptive language.' - Carol Rumens 'Talking to the Dead is arguably Elaine Feinstein's best collection. Beautifully crafted, deeply felt, totally earned, these poems of love and bereavement, and more, will expand her readership well beyond the readers and writers of contemporary poetry who have long loved and treasured her exemplary contribution to the art.' Carol Ann Duffy 'Beautiful, generous, wonderfully intense poems ... Anyone who has ever felt comforted in grief by words, or who has lived through that tension between tenderness, longing and guilt, will recognize their precision and their truth.' Ruth Padel 'These are more than elegies, they are alchemy; the emotional force of the book is so strong that the dead come walking out of the pages.' Jo Shapcott 'The strangeness of visited cities, with their fearful histories, has been transmuted here by the responses of a truly gifted poet.' Dannie Abse 'Cities presents itself as the work of old age, but readers expecting regret or renunciation will be surprised by the affirmative character of this book. While Elaine Feinstein revisits Europe in the aftermath of Nazism, she also praises the good fortune of having lived richly in the sphere of literature and travelled widely among remarkable people. The poems here are lit with striking clarity - things retain their outline and solidity to an unusual degree.' Sean O'Brien 'Elaine Feinstein has made the juncture between poetry and memoir her own. As befits a poet who is also a master of fiction and biography, she writes with casual erudition and an acute storyteller's eye. Her forays into European culture and history are dazzling. Cities is a profoundly humane, intimate exploration of the places and stages by which a life acquires meaning.' Fiona Sampson 'For more than 40 years, Feinstein has been writing intensely lyrical, finely crafted poems. Those in [Talking to the Dead] are honest and moving, and are among her very best.' No. 1 in 'The Ten Best New poetry collections' - the Independent, 2007
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