Louis Esterhuizen. Apart, dog saam … Tsvetayeva en Pasternak

 

Verlede week het die Times Literary Supplement (TLS) een van Marina Tsvetayeva se mees ikoniese gedigte as ‘gedig van die week’ geneem. Dié gedig, “To Boris Pasternak”, is in 1925 geskryf tydens die dekadelange verhouding tussen Tsvetayeva en Pasternak.

In haar oorsigartikel tot die gedig, beskryf  Sophie Hughes die ontstaan soos volg: “Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetayeva made casual acquaintance in Moscow’s literary circles in the 1920s, but they conducted their subsequent decade-long ‘marriage’, as they referred to it, at a distance. After a vigorous and confessional correspondence, their first reunion, in Paris in 1935, was disappointing; another kind of non-meeting in a series of what Tsvetayeva called ‘missed meetings’ (razminovenie) around Europe. For Tsvetayeva and Pasternak the protraction inherent in their relationship could be excruciating, but it provided a creative stimulus for their writing. Through their letters, the poets forged the notion of an intimacy born of shared isolation. ‘Still, we have the same solitude”, Pasternak wrote to Tsvetayeva, “the same journeys and searching, and the same favourite turns in the labyrinth of literature and history’.”

Vir ‘n kort bespreking van die gedig kan jy gerus Hughes se opsomming op TLS gaan lees. Veral haar opmerkings rondom Tsvetayeva se gebruik van punktuasie en haar verwysing na Joseph Brodsky se bespreking van die verband hysteria en Tsvetayeva se gebruik van punktuasie was vir my interessant.

Nietemin, die gedig volg hieronder. Terloops,  die skildery van Tsvetayeva  en Pasternak heel bo heet “August” en is deur Lena Levin.

*

To Boris Pasternak

Distance: versts, miles . . .
divide us; they’ve dispersed us,
to make us behave quietly
at our different ends of the earth.

Distance: how many miles of it
lie between us now – disconnected –
crucified – then dissected.
And they don’t know – it unites us.

Our spirits and sinews fuse,
there’s no discord between us,
though our separated pieces lie outside
the moat – for eagles!

This conspiracy of miles
has not yet disconcerted us,
however much they’ve pushed us, like
orphans into backwaters.

– What then? Well. Now it’s March!
And we’re scattered like some pack of cards!

© Marina Tsvetayeva (1925)
Vertaal deur Elaine Feinstein (1980)

 

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