Sunday, August 25, 2013

an Osip Mandelshtam poem

For the sake of delight
Take from my hands some sun and some honey
As Persephone's bees enjoined on us

Not to be untied, the unmoored boat
Not to be heard, full-shod shadows
Not to be silenced, life's thick terrors

Now we have only kisses
Like little furry bees
Which perish when they fly from the hive

They rustle in transparent thickets
In the dense night forest of Taigetos
Nourished by time, by honeysuckle and mint

For the sake of delight, then, take my uncouth present
This simple necklace of dead dried bees
That turned honey into the sun

from TRISTIA - James Greene translation (Osip Mandelshtam Selected Poems, p.35)

My friend Renée posted this poem elsewhere, so I stole it. Because it's very good.

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