Babette Deutsch

(1895 - 1982)

Biography of Babette Deutsch

Babette Deutsch poet

Babette Deutsch (September 22, 1895 – November 13, 1982) was an American poet, critic, translator, and novelist.

Born in New York City, the daughter of Michael and Melanie (Fisher) Deutsch, she matriculated from the Ethical Culture School and Barnard College, graduating in 1917 with a B.A. She published poems in magazines such as the North American Review and the New Republic while she was still a student at Barnard.

In 1946, she received an honorary D. Litt. from Columbia University. On April 29, 1921, Deutsch married Avrahm Yarmolinsky, chief of the Slavonic Division of The New York Public Library (1918–1955), also a writer and translator. They had two sons, Adam Yarmolinsky and Michael.

She translated Pushkin's Eugene Onegin into English and also made some of the best English versions of Boris Pasternak's poems.

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Natural Law

If you press a stone with your finger,
Sir Isaac Newton observed,
The finger is also
Pressed by the stone.
But can a woman, pressed by memory's finger,
In the deep night, alone,
Of her softness move
The airy thing
That presses upon her
With the whole weight of love? This
Sir Isaac said nothing of.

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