Maria Chursina (1969 – 2000). Poems, with Russian Translations by Isabella Mizrahi

Also in Poetry:

1. Help Comes at the Last Moment in the Vale of Blood(2)
N. Kossman. "Help Comes too Late in the Valley of Hopelessness"
Maria Chursina (1969 - 2000). Poems, with Russian Translations by Isabella Mizrahi

Truthfully rhythmical,

fearlessly grappling

clashing with the sky,

luring in the nostrils,

deeply placid. This,

then, is poetry. This is her

speech pattern. Costly

pyramids of words.

The magic of your speech

Rules me.

Ruins me.

The magic of your speech

mystically wobbles

like an undecided butterfly.

Less like a bird. More like

a bug.

In spring I lose

my mind, especially.

I am a vile,

beautiful queen in spring.

My Lord,

who wants me like this?

Me. I want me like,

like a brimming beer glass.

And no goddamn lies

will touch my limbs.

And no sweaty chest

will convince me otherwise!

Because I am Beauty.

Because in the spring

I speak proud crescendos of words.

I almost roar!

My voice vibrates so much.

I need to love you so I

could torture myself and you

in the spring

with excessiveness

and demand excessiveness

in turn from you.

Halt your step. It is

My Spring.

Wherever the philharmonic plays,



Seats next to a window, please.

And fill our ears with music,


like rain drops along water ripples.




There was a tin cup

Upon a very light wood

Counter. Not aimless,

But ready to be painted

Into a proper, worthy

Composition on a white

Canvas in a lit studio.

The rounded ending

Of tin walls

Displayed calmness

Rhythmically exhaling

The emptiness of the cup –

Deep breaths caught at the

Echoing bottom and dragged

By a quiet effort to the

Edge of tin into foreign

Busy air – the sunlit, streaking

Abyss that only

Transported dust particles,

Because it recently dropped

A dead fly which now was

Drying on the counter beside

The empty tin

And streaming sunshine.

Home is where

I want to sit.

You, whom

I want to hold

under our important


You, whom.

Mainly the hole,

The hole in the heaven

That spits out handkerchiefs

Like cherry-pits,

Only white. And they

Turn into white cherry

Blossoms on the way from

Heaven to earth. On their

Fall to this earth,

Where mists cover thoughts,

Where baby-rockers replace

Bandages. Where we labor

Over notebooks. Here, this

Landmark land. We own

Heroes. We chose reading

Material. We even fuck

Cozily. We even make lists

Of things we have done. The

Beautiful of us are into

Shapes, some – into colors.

Come, come, cherry blossoms.

Here, objects of ethereal

Aspiration. Oh, give us your

Lake. Lie folded in our

Pockets. More than anything,

Foolishness deserves us.

Maria Chursina’s book “By Way of Writing” was published posthumously in 2001.

About the Author:

photo Maria Chursina 20644651_356630257303237_7104728151944204760_n
Maria Chursina
Moscow/New York

Maria Chursina (1969 – 2000). Maria was born in Moscow. At the age of 12, she emigrated with her mother to the USA, where she attended school and graduated from New York University, with honors.  In 1991, she returned to Moscow, completed a two-year psychotherapy course and began working with patients. In early 2000, at the age of 30, she died. “By Way of Writing,” a book  of her poems, written in English at the age of 16-17, was published posthumously in 2001, with Russian translations by Isabella Mizrahi. From a book review by Valery Chereshnya: “…. a reader will encounter an unusually naked, pain-inspired text that captures all shades of love – love of humanity and writing as a release from the painful and the most accurate capture of it. The most striking thing is that such emotional intensity somehow miraculously coexists with insightful reflection and subtle self-analysis.”

Maria Chursina Мария Чурсина
by Ilya Perelmuter (editor)

Launched in 2012, “Four Centuries” is an international electronic magazine of Russian poetry in translation.

by Ilya Ehrenburg

Ilya Ehrenburg (1891–1967) was one of the most prolific Russian writers of the twentieth century.  Babi Yar and Other Poems, translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya, is a representative selection of Ehrenburg’s poetry, available in English for the first time.

by William Conelly

Young readers will love this delightful work of children’s verse by poet William Conelly, accompanied by Nadia Kossman’s imaginative, evocative illustrations.

by Maria Galina

A book of poems by Maria Galina, put together and completed exactly one day before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is Galina’s seventh book of poems. With translations by Anna Halberstadt and Ainsley Morse.

book cover galina 700x500 431792346_806631041304850_1823687868413913719_n
by Aleksandr Kabanov

The first bilingual (Russian-English) collection of poems by Aleksandr Kabanov, one of Ukraine’s major poets, “Elements for God” includes poems that predicted – and now chronicle – Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

by Yulia Fridman

A book of poems by Yulia Fridman.

“I have been reading Yulia Fridman’s poems for a long time and have admired them for a long time.” (Vladimir Bogomyakov, poet)

Three Questions. A Documentary by Vita Shtivelman
Play Video
Poetry Reading in Honor of Brodsky’s 81st Birthday
Length: 1:35:40