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Abstract

At various points in her life Marina Tsvetaeva claimed to be indifferent to the visual arts. Scholars of her life and works have tended to take her at her word, insisting that Tsvetaeva was primarily a poet of aural sensibilities who derived little inspiration from the visual world. The present essay challenges this notion by drawing together a number of primary source texts and recent scholarly studies to suggest instead that engagement with the visual world in general, and the visual arts in particular, provided substantive and instrumental stimuli in her creative process. In particular, the essay offers evidence of the way that sculpture, painting, and photography operate as key points of departure in her creative mission to transcend the limitations of physical space and chronological time in her poetry and other writings.