Selected Poems

Selected Poems


Translator: James Greene
Foreword by: Nadezhda Mandelstam
Foreword by: Donald Davie

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140184747
  • 144 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult
Selected Poems

Selected Poems

Osip Mandelshtam, Translator: James Greene, Foreword by: Nadezhda Mandelstam, Foreword by: Donald Davie

Table of Contents

Foreword by Nadezhda Mandelshtam
Foreword by Donald Davie
Translator’s Preface
Introduction by Donald Rayfield
From Stone (1913, 1916, 1923 and 1928)
The careful muffled sound
Suddenly, from the dimly lit hall
To read only children’s books
On pale-blue enamel
What shall I do with the body I’ve been given
A sadness beyond words
Words are unnecessary
Silentium
Ear-drums stretch their sensitive sail
Like the shadow of sudden clouds
I grew, rustling like a reed
Sultry dusk covers the couch
How slowly the horses move
Light sows a meagre beam
The sea-shell
I hate the light
In the haze your image
No, not the moon, but a bright clock-face
The traveller
The casino
The Lutheran
Hagia Sophia
Notre Dame

Poisoned bread, satiated air
Horses’ hooves…The clatter
There are orioles in the woods
Nature is Roman, and mirrored in Rome
Sleeplessness. Homer. Taut sails
Herds of horses gaily neigh or graze

Unpublished in the Struve/Filippov editions
Newly reaped ears

Two poems first published by Struve/Filippov, 1964
The hunters have trapped you
The old men of Euripides, an abject throng

From Tristia (1922)
- How the splendour of these veils and of this dress
We shall die in transparent Petropolis
This night is irredeemable
Disbelieving the miracle of resurrection
Out of the bottle the stream of golden honey poured so slowly
Spring’s transparent-grey asphodels
Tristia
Sisters: heaviness and tenderness bear the same insignia
Return to the incestuous lap
When Psyche – life – descends among shades
I have forgotten the word I wanted to say
For the sake of delight
Here is the pyx, like a golden sun
Because I had to let go of your arms
When the city moon looks out on the streets
When, on my lips a singing name, I stepped
I like the grey silences under the arches

From Poems (1928)
I was washing at night in the courtyard
To some, winter is arrack and a blue-eyed punch
Rosy foam of fatigue on his sensual lips
As the leaven swells
I climbed into the tousled hayloft
My time
Whoever finds a horsehoe
1 January 1924

Two Poems Published in NOVY MIR (1931 and 1932)
Armenia
Batyushkov

Poems Published Posthumously
Self-portrait
I was only in a childish way connected with the established order
Help me, O Lord, to get through this night
For the resounding glory of eras to come
I drink to the blossoming epaulette
Impressionism
Ariosto

We exist, without sensing our country beneath us
The body of King Arshak is unwashed
Your narrow shoulders are to redden under scourges
Black earth
Yes, I’m lying in the earth, moving my lips
You took away my seas and running jumps and sky
My country conversed with me
For those hundred-carat ingots, Roman nights
A wave advances – one wave breaking another’s backbone
I shall perform a smoky rite
I shall not return my borrowed dust
I can’t make sense of today
Like a belated present
I would sing of him who shifted the axis of the world
You still haven’t died, you’re still not alone
I look the frost in the face, alone
Oh, these suffocating, asthmatic spaces of the steppes
Plagued by their miraculous and all-engulfing hunger
Don’t compare: anyone alive is matchless
What has contended with oxide and alloys
The mounds of human heads disappear into the distance
Listening, listening to the early ice
A little boy, his red face shining like a lamp
Where can I put myself this January?
Like Rembrandt, martyr of light and dark
Breaks of the rounded bays, shingle, blue
I sing when my throat is damp, my soul dry
Eyes once keener than a sharpened scythe
Armed with the insight of narrow wasps
I am plunged into a lion’s den, a fort
If our enemies take me
Life’s reticulations loosen, madness looms
This is what I want most of all
This azure island was exalted by its potters
As if words were not enough
I raise this greenness to my lips
With her delightful uneven way of walking

Notes and Acknowledgments
Further Reading

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