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Poetry

Trees IX

By Marina Tsvetaeva
Translated from Russian by Nina Kossman

What revelations,
What truths
What do you rustle of,
The floods of green?

With sacraments
Of what raving sibyl,
What do you rustle of,
What do you rave about?

What’s in your fluttering?
But I know–you cure
With the cool of eternity
The offense of time.

Rising as a youthful
Genius, you disparage
With the finger of absence
The falsehood of sight.

So that, as before
Earth only seemed to us.
So that plans were enacted
Only under closed eyelids.

And away from things solid;
And away from things rushed!
Into the torrent: oracles
Through obscure words . . .

Was that the leaves’ rustle?
Was that the sibyl’s cry?
. . . The leafy torrents,
The ruins of leaves . . .

May 9, 1923

English

What revelations,
What truths
What do you rustle of,
The floods of green?

With sacraments
Of what raving sibyl,
What do you rustle of,
What do you rave about?

What’s in your fluttering?
But I know–you cure
With the cool of eternity
The offense of time.

Rising as a youthful
Genius, you disparage
With the finger of absence
The falsehood of sight.

So that, as before
Earth only seemed to us.
So that plans were enacted
Only under closed eyelids.

And away from things solid;
And away from things rushed!
Into the torrent: oracles
Through obscure words . . .

Was that the leaves’ rustle?
Was that the sibyl’s cry?
. . . The leafy torrents,
The ruins of leaves . . .

May 9, 1923

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