Marina Tsvetaeva — This grief for homeland

This grief for homeland! It’s despair

And hopelessness of daily worry!

I’m equally indifferent where

— Alone, entirely and wholly, —


I am, which way I slowly stagger,

Back from the market, walking homeward,

Into a home, that like a barrack,

Still doesn’t know that I’m the owner!


I am indifferent among whom

I am, — a captive lion, rising,

Or which establishment, which room,

I’m banished from – it’s not surprising —


Into myself. Kamchatkan bear

Can’t bear without ice — (I’m jaded!)

I am indifferent, I don’t care

Where I am shamed and desecrated.


My native tongue, which often sung

To me, as of this day, can’t tempt me.

I am indifferent in which tongue

The passerby misunderstands me.


He reads a ton of news and then

He milks the gossip from each entry…

He is the twentieth century man –

But I — belong to any century!


I stand, a tree stump, in the distance —

Left from an alley, green and tall,

Equal to all, I’m — indifferent

To all of it, but most of all


To that which once made all the difference.

All signs and marks are now erased.

All dates – have vanished in an instant:

My soul, — born in a nameless place.


My native land did not protect me, —

Examining my soul with care,

Even the most precise inspector,

Won’t find a birthmark anywhere!


Each temple’s vacant, every home

Is strange to me, — I care for no one.

But if a tree blooms where I roam, —

Especially, if it’s the rowan…


Marina Tsvetaeva

Translation by Andrey Kneller