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 usually triggered literary commentators to regard her as both a martyr or a monster. Born in Russia in 1892, she emigrated to Europe in 1922, again on the top of the Stalinist Terror, and dedicated 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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Extra resources for A Russian Psyche: The Poetic Mind of Marina Tsvetaeva

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If only the night would fight with me, the night herself! I soar—jaws are in pursuit, I laugh—a lasso in my hands... ] Walking the Poetic Tightrope 21 Tsvetaeva’s choice of such imposing enemies indicates her ambition to participate in struggles of what is rawly, essentially human—to emerge from the parenthesis of her gender and her resultant ‘‘female’’ poetic quandary into the unconstrained, unmarked space of the elemental contest between existence and nonexistence that is poetry’s ultimate subject.

Moreover, it is important to note that the subjunctive clause (‘‘Oh, if only I could also . ’’) that ends the third stanza is never delimited by the definiteness of any answering clause (‘‘Then I would . ’’). This lack of grammatical closure leaves enormous space (the whole cosmos of the night sky sparkling with stars, and the whole cosmos of the earth sparkling with eyes) for the poet’s future search for solutions to her difficulties. For all her perplexed sense of self, the possibilities are clearly endless.

I argue in this chapter that Tsvetaeva, somewhat threatened by the independent poetic stature of her two beloved poetic rivals, and intent upon accomplishing different solutions than theirs to her own inspirational dilemma, turns away from true dialogue into the realm of fantasy. There, the austere male muse she conjures is both chosen and fated, and the irresolvable psychological divisions of real life (self vs. other, active vs. passive, sexual vs. ) are portrayed disturbingly and powerfully as capable of being dissolved in the potent wake of poetry incarnate.

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