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Songs




Songs


after Marina Tsvetaeva

for H.


Where did our tenderness come from?
As if yours were the first curls
I’d felt close, ran fingers through.
You’ve kissed lips darker than mine.

The night came cold and starless,
snowstorms swept in from the east.
Though others’ eyes have met mine
with that same, uncertain peace.

But I've never known songs like these,

songs that still go on … the dark
pulled close, my head on your chest,
and the world clear-cut for once.

Where did our tenderness come from?
What to make of it? Love,
I imagine you passing me by –
your azure eyes, sharper than anyone’s.




poem by Ben Wilkinson



Comments

Edward Ferrari said…
Grand how quiet but lingeringly intense this is. Could you recommend a few Tsvetaevas to start with?
Ben Wilkinson said…
Glad to hear you enjoyed it, Ed. All credit to Tsvetaeva though; her pitch-perfect tone is about the only thing my version halfway salvages from the original! Afraid I don't know many other poems by her - her oeuvre is very uneven, and not much has been adequately translated into English - but there are a few bare-bones translations here to give a flavour.

http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/tsvetaeva/tsvetaeva_ind.html
Edward Ferrari said…
Thanks, more than enough to be getting on with!

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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

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