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Abstract

According to Marina Cvetaeva, she “hears” in verse, while Pasternak “sees”, and although she disliked the banal comment that her poetry is musical, music was fundamental to her identity and her work, and sound and sense inextricably connected. This chapter examines the role of music in Cvetaeva’s biography and work: musical aspects of her identity as a poet; her self-identification as a poet-“singer” and various musical voices in her work, sometimes in polyphony; her responses to contemporary poets about musical aspects of her poetry; her references to classical composers, folk genres, the song (romans) and the “cruel romance”, and Roma music; musical aspects of her poetic language, including rhythm, rhyme, and sound play, with special reference to her poem in folkloric style Мóлодец and her long poem Крысолов (The Ratcatcher); musical structures in her work; and musical settings of her verse.