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Silence Exile and Crumpets
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Friday, June 26th, 2009

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When I was but a wee thing of 20 or so, one of my holiest of holy books was this. The fucked-up politically complex Tsvetaeva was a heroine and was my personal doomed icon - I loved these translations too.

At a party tonight, I joined a friend at a table where she was talking to an elderly lady and I was introducted to Elaine Feinstein, the translator - a pretty good poet in her own right. I am afraid I gushed at her, quite a lot. On the other hand, I suspect that I may have been - even at a very literary party - the only admirer of hers there. So shit on being cool and reserved.

What shall I do, singer and first-born, in a
world where the deepest black is grey,
and inspiration is kept in a thermos?
with all this immensity
in a measured world?
(from 'The Poet', trans. by Elaine Feinstein)

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