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Posts tagged "Mondays with Mandelstam"

Mondays with Mandelstam: Mount Elbrus (1937)

6106628926-583c358362-z[note: Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe]

Spiderlight, sticky expectant dread:
I turn and turn, only more entangled
In today…

We need bread, and we need plain air,
But we need, too, some distant unbreathable peak,
Some eye-annihilating glare…

If the ache is nameless, how do I ask for ease?
If the I itself is exile, can the soul survive
Such private ice?

Old touchstone, to touch a stone, but in all that I have known,
Never, not once, such clear
Dreamweeping distillations of atmosphere…

We need poetry to wake the dark we are,
To find us and bind us beyond us
To an age of wakefulness

In the one day’s unentangling sun,
Our breathing easy, ancient, like the pulse and peace
of iambs counting down to silence.

Mondays with Mandelstam: Prayer (1931)

Help me, Lord, this night my life to save.

Hold me, Lord, your servant, your slave.

Hear me, O Lord, alive in Petersburg, my grave.


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.