Moscow in the Plague Year
While your eyes follow me into the grave, write up the whole caboodle on my cross! 'Her days began with songs, ended in tears, but when she died, she split her sides with laugher!'
Written during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Moscow famine that followed, these poems are suffused with Tsvetaeva's irony and humor, which undoubtedly accounted for her success in not only reaching the end of the plague year alive, but making it the most productive of her career. We meet a drummer boy idolizing Napoleon, an irrepressibly mischievous grandmother who refuses to apologize to God on Judgment Day, and an androgynous (and luminous) Joan of Arc.