Bitter Berries by Marina Tsvetaeva, trans. Moniza Alvi and Veronika Krasnova
Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) is considered by many to be the most important Russian poet of her generation. Her life, which coincided with some of the most turbulent years of Russian history, was one of extreme hardship. She was first and foremost a poet – everything else was secondary: ‘Through the indifference of grey moss / I proclaim – there will be poems!’ (‘Certainty’). In Bitter Berries, Moniza Alvi and Veronika Krasnova have translated a selection of poems from her later years, covering themes such as exile, conflict, and a poet’s fate, and conveying this poet’s range, depth, passion and power to astonish. The pamphlet is illustrated by the artist Katya Krasnova.