Resounding Sound

The Poet Marina Tsvetaeva and her Translator Elke Erb

  • Esther Hool


The repetition of sound patterns on different linguistic levels is a dominant characteristic of the Russian writer Marina Tsvetaeva’s poetry and recalls elements of both folk poetry and avant-garde texts. Tsvetaeva’s German translator Elke Erb not only considers the sonic dimension as being especially important for poetry in general but also emphasizes the complex sound structures in Tsvetaeva's poetry in particular. In this paper, I use Erb’s translation of the poem “Sad” [“The Garden”] to illustrate the ways in which the sonic dimension of the source text and the poem’s references to both the literary avant-garde and folk poetry can be preserved.