One Poem at a Time -10-


If ever there was a poem that spoke for itself…

But. Some labor and gestate for the better part of one year to experience this ravenous joy, while others spend entire lifetimes in pursuit; still others are able to sit at a desk, stand before a canvas, step onto a stage in bare feet and instantly… it gushes forth. It is it. And she must have lived it. How lucky was she.


“I’ve cut open my veins…” by Marina Tsvetaeva, translated by Andrey Kneller

I’ve cut open my veins: irrevocably,
Irreplaceably life is gushing.
Bring forth basins and bowls!
Any bowl will prove too small
Any basin – shallow.

Filling up and overly
Onto the earth, reeds purging.
Inconceivably, irrevocably,
Irreplaceably, verse is surging.



Joseph Brodsky happened to be Tsvetaeva’s greatest champion outside of Russia. Appropriately, listen to an audio clip of Brodsky reading “A Part of Speech [As for the stars they are always on].”


Filed under Poetry Month 2010

2 responses to “One Poem at a Time -10-

  1. donna

    How interesting. Until the last line of this poem, I thought she was talking about pain surging out, filling the bowls. I guess the intensity of both feelings, pain and joy can be the same.

  2. Julie von Zerneck

    Well, if that doesn’t say it… what does!

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