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Posts tagged "Mandelstam"


Mondays with Mandelstam: "Steppes" (1937)

“Steppes” (1937)800px-Steppe_of_western_Kazakhstan_in_the_early_spring

Openness or emptiness, I’m sick of it
Horizon everywhere,
Infinity forced down the gullet:
Eat your god, child, and love it!
To be blinded would be a mercy here.

Better to live alluvial,
Better to live layered downward,
To me a man of sand, of hollows, shallows,
To cling to the sleeves of water
And to let them go–

An eon’s tune, an instant’s.
I might have rained the rapids back.
I might have learned to hear
In any random rotting log
A tree release its rings year by slow year.

[note: a steppe is a prairie with wide open, flat, terrain that is too dry to any trees to grow. By contrast an alluvial plain is rain soaked and full of sedimentary rock]

Mondays with Mandelstam: "Night Piece"

Night-City-Sky“Night Piece” [1931]

Come love let us sit together
In the cramped kitchen breathing kerosene.
There’s fuel enough to forget the weather,
The knife is ours and the bread is clean.

Come love let us play the game
Of what to take and when to run,
Of come with me and come what may
And holding hands to hold off the sun.