Tsvetaeva, Marina (ЦВЕТАЕВА, Марина) (1892–1941) By Forrester, Sibelan
One of the best-known and influential Russian modernist poets, Marina Tsvetaeva (1892–1941) wrote lyric and narrative poetry, plays, autobiographical and memoir prose, and essays in literary history and criticism. Her biography is so full of incident that it can tend to crowd out her poetry in studies of her life. Born in Moscow, she began her poetic career among the Moscow Symbolists but never joined a poetic school. She wrote all through the revolution and made a splash when she was able to publish again in the early 1920s. After emigrating in 1922 she wrote and published a great deal of poetry, but later she switched largely to prose, at least in part because it was easier to publish. Her culminating book of poetry is After Russia (Paris, 1928). Tsvetaeva returned to the USSR for family reasons in June of 1939. There she worked as a translator; she committed suicide in August 1941. Since her work began appearing more widely in the 1960s, Tsvetaeva has been recognized as a ground-breaking poet, impacting writers and poets all over the world, and she is of particular interest to feminist critics and scholars.