Art Has No Nationality

Schubert at the piano by Gustav Klimt

I am not a Russian poet and am always astonished to be taken for one and looked upon in this light. The reason one becomes a poet (if it were even possible to become one, if one were not one before all else!) is to avoid being French, Russian, etc. in order to be everything. Or: one is a poet because one is not French. Nationality – segregation and enclosure. Orpheus bursts nationality, or he extends it to such breadth and width that everyone (bygone and being) is included.

Marina Tsvetaeva
Letter to Rainer Maria Rilke (1926)

Painting by Gustav Klimt: Schubert at the Piano (1899; destroyed 1945)


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