Osip Mandelstam: from “Stone”

mandelstam_stone_1st_edition

I hate the light that shines
From the monotonous stars.
Welcome back, old obsession of mine–
Tower that thins to an arrow of spire!

Stone, become a web,
A lace fragility:
Let your thin needle stab
The empty breast of sky.

My turn will come yet–
I feel the wings spreading.
So be it–but where is the target
Where living thought’s arrow is heading?

Perhaps I will come back here
When my path and my time both fade:
I could not love there
And here I am afraid…

Osip Mandelstam (b. 15 January 1891)

Translation by Robert Tracy

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~ by matt on 15 January 2009.

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Natalie E. Illum...

is a poet, performer and disability activist. Bring her stumbling to your city.

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