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This poem is taken from PN Review 197, Volume 37 Number 3, January - February 2011.

from Playacting [Komediant] 1919-20 (translated by Christopher Whyte) Marina Tsvetaeva


An evening comes to mind. Early November.
Rain falling, darkness. Underneath the streetlamp,
your gentle features, alien, uncertain,
pallid and blurred as in a Dickens novel.
A shivering as of winter seas within me…
Your gentle features underneath the streetlamp.

The wind howled, and the stair we climbed unravelled.
My eyes were riveted upon your lips,
as I stood, almost laughing, fingers linked,
the version of a Muse in miniature,
as blameless as the evening hour was late…
The wind howled, and the stair we climbed unravelled.
You overwhelmed me from beneath tired eyelids
with hopes that had no chance of being fulfilled.
Touching upon your lips, my gaze slid onwards…
Thus does an angel, wearied by the robes

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