from “Poems for Moscow”

New versions from the Russian by Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine
From my hands—take this city not made by hands,
my strange, my beautiful brother.

Take it, church by church—all forty times forty churches,
and flying up the roofs, the small pigeons;

And Spassky Gates—and gates, and gates—
where the Orthodox take off their hats;

And the Chapel of Stars—refuge chapel—
where the floor is—polished by tears;

Take the circle of the five cathedrals,
my coal, my soul; the domes wash us in their darkgold,

And on your shoulders, from the red clouds,
the Mother of God will drop her own thin coat,

And you will rise, happened of wonderpowers
—never ashamed you loved me.


March 31, 1916

More Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva