Prayer (Молитва), Marina Tsvetaeva

A new translation by Rupert Moreton.

lingua fennica

Marina-Tsvetaeva-Sergey-Efron-1911-300x221 Tsvetaeva with Sergei Efron

Tsvetaeva wrote this on her seventeenth birthday. There is something sadly prophetic here: her reluctance to embrace adulthood suggests an awareness that it would not be easy. It wasn’t. Her daughter died of starvation during the hunger in Moscow that followed the Revolution. After 17 years in exile Tsvetaeva returned to Moscow in 1939. Two years later her husband and surviving daughter were arrested. She took her own life shortly before her husband, Sergei Efron, was executed.

My Lord and God! I crave a wonder
This minute, at the break of day!
Oh let my life be rent asunder
While it’s a book for me, I pray.

You’re wise, so you won’t strictly tell me:
“Be patient, it’s not over yet.”
But you too much have lavished on me!
My craving appetite you’ve met!

I want it all: to go out thieving
To raucous sound of gypsy song,

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