After Russia: The First Notebook by Marina Tsvetaeva (trans. Christopher Whyte)
After Russia (1928) is considered to mark the high point in Marina Tsvetaeva’s output of shorter, lyrical poems. Tsvetaeva told Boris Pasternak that all that mattered in the book was its anguish. Breathtaking technical mastery and experimentation are underpinned by suicidal thoughts, a sense of exclusion from the circle of human love and companionship, and an increasing alienation from life itself. The sequence ‘Trees’ evokes the hills and woods of Bohemia where Tsvetaeva loved to roam, while ‘Wires’ takes telegraph wires as the central image for the geographical distance separating her from Pasternak.
The volume presented here offers the first of two notebooks; the second will follow in 2018.