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This poem is taken from PN Review 186, Volume 35 Number 4, March - April 2009.

On a Red Horse (translated by Elaine Feinstein) Marina Tsvetaeva

No Muse - I had no Muse
to sing by my shabby cradle,
no Muse to warm my hands
or cool my feverish eyelids.
No Muse - combed the hair from my face,
No Muse - led me into the fields.

There was no Muse. No braids,
no beads, no fables - only
tufts of brown hair cut
short over male eyebrows:
a figure in full armour.
A sultan.

He did not lean over my lips.
He did not bless me at bedtime,
still less, grieve with me over
a broken doll. Instead,
he set all my birds free.
On a red horse, he rode off
...


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