தளத்தைப் பற்றி

ஏராளமான இணைய தளங்கள் தமிழில் உள்ளது. அவற்றிலிருந்து காலத்தால் அழிக்கமுடியாதவை சிலவற்றை இங்கே இந்த இடத்தில் தொகுக்கின்றேன். மேலும் சிறுபத்திரிகை சம்பந்தபட்டவற்றை (இணையத்தில் கிடைக்கும் பட வடிவ கோப்புகளை) - என் மனம் போன போக்கில் - Automated Google-Ocr (TShrinivasan's Python script) மூலம் தொகுக்கின்றேன். அவற்றில் ஏதேனும் குறையோ பிழையோ இருந்தாலும், பதிப்புரிமை உள்ளவர்கள் பதிவிட வேண்டாமென்று விருப்பப்பட்டாலும் அவை நீக்கப்படும். மெய்ப்புபார்க்க இயலவில்லை. மன்னிக்கவும். யாராவது மெய்ப்பு பார்க்க இயலுமாயின், சரிபார்த்து இந்த மின்னஞ்சலுக்கு அனுப்பவும்
rrn.rrk.rrn@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

அன்னைக்கு .... some passages from James Joyce's Ulysses

Kuppuswamy Ganesan in Dublin.
3 hrs ·Tuesday, ‎February ‎2, ‎2016

" A man of genius makes no mistakes ; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery "

James Joyce was born on this day 134 years ago.




Some passages from James Joyce's Ulysses 
( from www.gutenberg.org/files/4300/4300-h/4300-h.htm)
"Ugly and futile: lean neck and thick hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His mother's prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode. She was no more: the trembling skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire, an odour of rosewood and wetted ashes. She had saved him from being trampled underfoot and had gone, scarcely having been. A poor soul gone to heaven: and on a heath beneath winking stars a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur, with merciless bright eyes scraped in the earth, listened, scraped up the earth, listened, scraped and scraped."
...........
Sargent who alone had lingered came forward slowly, showing an open copybook. His thick hair and scraggy neck gave witness of unreadiness and through his misty glasses weak eyes looked up pleading. On his cheek, dull and bloodless, a soft stain of ink lay, dateshaped, recent and damp as a snail's bed.

He held out his copybook. The word Sums was written on the headline. Beneath were sloping figures and at the foot a crooked signature with blind loops and a blot. Cyril Sargent: his name and seal.
—Mr Deasy told me to write them out all again, he said, and show them to you, sir.

Stephen touched the edges of the book. Futility.

—Do you understand how to do them now? he asked.

—Numbers eleven to fifteen, Sargent answered. Mr Deasy said I was to copy them off the board, sir.

—Can you do them yourself? Stephen asked.

—No, sir.

Ugly and futile: lean neck and thick hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His mother's prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode. She was no more: the trembling skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire, an odour of rosewood and wetted ashes. She had saved him from being trampled underfoot and had gone, scarcely having been. A poor soul gone to heaven: and on a heath beneath winking stars a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur, with merciless bright eyes scraped in the earth, listened, scraped up the earth, listened, scraped and scraped.

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Akilan Ethiraj shared Everyman's Library'sphoto.
13 hrs ·




Everyman's LibraryLike Page
19 hrs ·


"Love (understood as the desire of good for another) is in fact so unnatural a phenomenon that it can scarcely repeat itself, the soul being unable to become virgin again and not having energy enough to cast itself out again into the ocean of another's soul."
-- James Joyce in notes (1913) for his play "Exiles"


This selection of the major poems James Joyce published in his lifetime is accompanied by his only surviving play, Exiles. Joyce is most celebrated for his remarkable novel Ulysses, and yet he was also a highly accomplished poet. Chamber Music is his debut collection of lyrical love poems, which he intended to be set to music; in it, he enlivens the styles of the Celtic Revival with his own brand of playful irony. Pomes Penyeach, a collection written while Joyce was working on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, sounds intimately autobiographical notes of passion and betrayal that would go on to resonate throughout the rest of his work. Joyce’s other poems include the moving “Ecce Puer,” written on the occasion of the birth of his grandson, and his fiery satires “The Holy Office” and “Gas from a Burner.” Exiles was written after Joyce had left Ireland, never to return; it is a richly nuanced drama that reflects a grappling with the state of his own marriage and career as he was about to embark on the writing of Ulysses. In its tale of an unconventional couple involved in a love triangle, Exiles engages Joycean themes of envy and jealousy, freedom and love, men and women, and the complicated relationship between an artist and his homeland.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kaddish BY ALLEN GINSBERG


Kaddish

BY ALLEN GINSBERG

For Naomi Ginsberg, 1894—1956



I

Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.

downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I’ve been up all night, talking, talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues shout blind on the phonograph

the rhythm the rhythm—and your memory in my head three years after—And read Adonais’ last triumphant stanzas aloud—wept, realizing how we suffer—

And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember, prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of Answers—and my own imagination of a withered leaf—at dawn—

Dreaming back thru life, Your time—and mine accelerating toward Apocalypse,

the final moment—the flower burning in the Day—and what comes after,

looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city

a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed—

like a poem in the dark—escaped back to Oblivion—

No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream, trapped in its disappearance,

sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worshipping each other,

worshipping the God included in it all—longing or inevitability?—while it lasts, a Vision—anything more?

It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder, Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shouldering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant—and the sky above—an old blue place.

or down the Avenue to the south, to—as I walk toward the Lower East Side—where you walked 50 years ago, little girl—from Russia, eating the first poisonous tomatoes of America—frightened on the dock—

then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?—toward Newark—

toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards—

Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school, and learning to be mad, in a dream—what is this life?

Toward the Key in the window—and the great Key lays its head of light on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the sidewalk—in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward the Yiddish Theater—and the place of poverty

you knew, and I know, but without caring now—Strange to have moved

thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again,

with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstoops doors and dark boys on the street, fire escapes old as you

-Tho you’re not old now, that’s left here with me—

Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe—and I guess that dies with us—enough to cancel all that comes—What came is gone forever every time—

That’s good! That leaves it open for no regret—no fear radiators, lacklove, torture even toothache in the end—

Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul—and the lamb, the soul, in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change’s fierce hunger—hair and teeth—and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin, braintricked Implacability.

Ai! ai! we do worse! We are in a fix! And you’re out, Death let you out, Death had the Mercy, you’re done with your century, done with God, done with the path thru it—Done with yourself at last—Pure—Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all—before the world—

There, rest. No more suffering for you. I know where you’ve gone, it’s good.

No more flowers in the summer fields of New York, no joy now, no more fear of Louis,

and no more of his sweetness and glasses, his high school decades, debts, loves, frightened telephone calls, conception beds, relatives, hands—

No more of sister Elanor,.—she gone before you—we kept it secret—you killed her—or she killed herself to bear with you—an arthritic heart—But Death’s killed you both—No matter—

Nor your memory of your mother, 1915 tears in silent movies weeks and weeks—forgetting, aggrieve watching Marie Dressler address humanity, Chaplin dance in youth,

or Boris Godunov, Chaliapin’s at the Met, hailing his voice of a weeping Czar—by standing room with Elanor & Max—watching also the Capitalists take seats in Orchestra, white furs, diamonds,

with the YPSL’s hitch-hiking thru Pennsylvania, in black baggy gym skirts pants, photograph of 4 girls holding each other round the waste, and laughing eye, too coy, virginal solitude of 1920

all girls grown old, or dead, now, and that long hair in the grave—lucky to have husbands later—

You made it—I came too—Eugene my brother before (still grieving now and will gream on to his last stiff hand, as he goes thru his cancer—or kill—later perhaps—soon he will think—)

And it’s the last moment I remember, which I see them all, thru myself, now—tho not you

I didn’t foresee what you felt—what more hideous gape of bad mouth came first—to you—and were you prepared?

To go where? In that Dark—that—in that God? a radiance? A Lord in the Void? Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream? Adonoi at last, with you?

Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon—Deathshead with Halo? can you believe it?

Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence, than none ever was?

Nothing beyond what we have—what you had—that so pitiful—yet Triumph,

to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower—fed to the ground—but mad, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe, shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth wrapped, sore—freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.

No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the knife—lost

Cut down by an idiot Snowman’s icy—even in the Spring—strange ghost thought—some Death—Sharp icicle in his hand—crowned with old roses—a dog for his eyes—cock of a sweatshop—heart of electric irons.

All the accumulations of life, that wear us out—clocks, bodies, consciousness, shoes, breasts—begotten sons—your Communism—‘Paranoia’ into hospitals.

You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure later. You of stroke. Asleep? within a year, the two of you, sisters in death. Is Elanor happy?

Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over midnight Accountings, not sure. l His life passes—as he sees—and what does he doubt now? Still dream of making money, or that might have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Immortality, Naomi?

I’ll see him soon. Now I’ve got to cut through—to talk to you—as I didn’t when you had a mouth.

Forever. And we’re bound for that, Forever—like Emily Dickinson’s horses—headed to the End.

They know the way—These Steeds—run faster than we think—it’s our own life they cross—and take with them.



Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, married dreamed, mortal changed—Ass and face done with murder.

In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under pine, almed in Earth, balmed in Lone, Jehovah, accept.

Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless, Father in death. Tho I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I’m hymnless, I’m Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore

Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not light or darkness, Dayless Eternity—

Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some of my Time, now given to Nothing—to praise Thee—But Death

This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Wonderer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping—page beyond Psalm—Last change of mine and Naomi—to God’s perfect Darkness—Death, stay thy phantoms!





II

Over and over—refrain—of the Hospitals—still haven’t written your history—leave it abstract—a few images

run thru the mind—like the saxophone chorus of houses and years—remembrance of electrical shocks.

By long nites as a child in Paterson apartment, watching over your nervousness—you were fat—your next move—

By that afternoon I stayed home from school to take care of you—once and for all—when I vowed forever that once man disagreed with my opinion of the cosmos, I was lost—

By my later burden—vow to illuminate mankind—this is release of particulars—(mad as you)—(sanity a trick of agreement)—

But you stared out the window on the Broadway Church corner, and spied a mystical assassin from Newark,

So phoned the Doctor—‘OK go way for a rest’—so I put on my coat and walked you downstreet—On the way a grammarschool boy screamed, unaccountably—‘Where you goin Lady to Death’? I shuddered—

and you covered your nose with motheaten fur collar, gas mask against poison sneaked into downtown atmosphere, sprayed by Grandma—

And was the driver of the cheesebox Public Service bus a member of the gang? You shuddered at his face, I could hardly get you on—to New York, very Times Square, to grab another Greyhound—

where we hung around 2 hours fighting invisible bugs and jewish sickness—breeze poisoned by Roosevelt—

out to get you—and me tagging along, hoping it would end in a quiet room in a Victorian house by a lake.

Ride 3 hours thru tunnels past all American industry, Bayonne preparing for World War II, tanks, gas fields, soda factories, diners, loco-motive roundhouse fortress—into piney woods New Jersey Indians—calm towns—long roads thru sandy tree fields—

Bridges by deerless creeks, old wampum loading the streambeddown there a tomahawk or Pocahontas bone—and a million old ladies voting for Roosevelt in brown small houses, roads off the Madness highway—

perhaps a hawk in a tree, or a hermit looking for an owl-filled branch—

All the time arguing—afraid of strangers in the forward double seat, snoring regardless—what busride they snore on now?

‘Allen, you don’t understand—it’s—ever since those 3 big sticks up my back—they did something to me in Hospital, they poisoned me, they want to see me dead—3 big sticks, 3 big sticks—

‘The Bitch! Old Grandma! Last week I saw her, dressed in pants like an old man, with a sack on her back, climbing up the brick side of the apartment

‘On the fire escape, with poison germs, to throw on me—at night—maybe Louis is helping her—he’s under her power—

‘I’m your mother, take me to Lakewood’ (near where Graf Zeppelin had crashed before, all Hitler in Explosion) ‘where I can hide.’

We got there—Dr. Whatzis rest home—she hid behind a closet—demanded a blood transfusion.

We were kicked out—tramping with Valise to unknown shady lawn houses—dusk, pine trees after dark—long dead street filled with crickets and poison ivy—

I shut her up by now—big house REST HOME ROOMS—gave the landlady her money for the week—carried up the iron valise—sat on bed waiting to escape—

Neat room in attic with friendly bedcover—lace curtains—spinning wheel rug—Stained wallpaper old as Naomi. We were home.

I left on the next bus to New York—laid my head back in the last seat, depressed—the worst yet to come?—abandoning her, rode in torpor—I was only 12.

Would she hide in her room and come out cheerful for breakfast? Or lock her door and stare thru the window for sidestreet spies? Listen at keyholes for Hitlerian invisible gas? Dream in a chair—or mock me, by—in front of a mirror, alone?

12 riding the bus at nite thru New Jersey, have left Naomi to Parcae in Lakewood’s haunted house—left to my own fate bus—sunk in a seat—all violins broken—my heart sore in my ribs—mind was empty—Would she were safe in her coffin—

Or back at Normal School in Newark, studying up on America in a black skirt—winter on the street without lunch—a penny a pickle—home at night to take care of Elanor in the bedroom—

First nervous breakdown was 1919—she stayed home from school and lay in a dark room for three weeks—something bad—never said what—every noise hurt—dreams of the creaks of Wall Street—

Before the gray Depression—went upstate New York—recovered—Lou took photo of her sitting crossleg on the grass—her long hair wound with flowers—smiling—playing lullabies on mandolin—poison ivy smoke in left-wing summer camps and me in infancy saw trees—

or back teaching school, laughing with idiots, the backward classes—her Russian specialty—morons with dreamy lips, great eyes, thin feet & sicky fingers, swaybacked, rachitic—

great heads pendulous over Alice in Wonderland, a blackboard full of C A T.

Naomi reading patiently, story out of a Communist fairy book—Tale of the Sudden Sweetness of the Dictator—Forgiveness of Warlocks—Armies Kissing—

Deathsheads Around the Green Table—The King & the Workers—Paterson Press printed them up in the ’30s till she went mad, or they folded, both.

O Paterson! I got home late that nite. Louis was worried. How could I be so—didn’t I think? I shouldn’t have left her. Mad in Lakewood. Call the Doctor. Phone the home in the pines. Too late.

Went to bed exhausted, wanting to leave the world (probably that year newly in love with R my high school mind hero, jewish boy who came a doctor later—then silent neat kid—

I later laying down life for him, moved to Manhattan—followed him to college—Prayed on ferry to help mankind if admitted—vowed, the day I journeyed to Entrance Exam—

by being honest revolutionary labor lawyer—would train for that—inspired by Sacco Vanzetti, Norman Thomas, Debs, Altgeld, Sand-burg, Poe—Little Blue Books. I wanted to be President, or Senator.

ignorant woe—later dreams of kneeling by R’s shocked knees declaring my love of 1941—What sweetness he’d have shown me, tho, that I’d wished him & despaired—first love—a crush—

Later a mortal avalanche, whole mountains of homosexuality, Matterhorns of cock, Grand Canyons of asshole—weight on my melancholy head—

meanwhile I walked on Broadway imagining Infinity like a rubber ball without space beyond—what’s outside?—coming home to Graham Avenue still melancholy passing the lone green hedges across the street, dreaming after the movies—)

The telephone rang at 2 A.M.—Emergency—she’d gone mad—Naomi hiding under the bed screaming bugs of Mussolini—Help! Louis! Buba! Fascists! Death!—the landlady frightened—old fag attendant screaming back at her—

Terror, that woke the neighbors—old ladies on the second floor recovering from menopause—all those rags between thighs, clean sheets, sorry over lost babies—husbands ashen—children sneering at Yale, or putting oil in hair at CCNY—or trembling in Montclair State Teachers College like Eugene—

Her big leg crouched to her breast, hand outstretched Keep Away, wool dress on her thighs, fur coat dragged under the bed—she barricaded herself under bedspring with suitcases.

Louis in pajamas listening to phone, frightened—do now?—Who could know?—my fault, delivering her to solitude?—sitting in the dark room on the sofa, trembling, to figure out—

He took the morning train to Lakewood, Naomi still under bed—thought he brought poison Cops—Naomi screaming—Louis what happened to your heart then? Have you been killed by Naomi’s ecstasy?

Dragged her out, around the corner, a cab, forced her in with valise, but the driver left them off at drugstore. Bus stop, two hours’ wait.

I lay in bed nervous in the 4-room apartment, the big bed in living room, next to Louis’ desk—shaking—he came home that nite, late, told me what happened.

Naomi at the prescription counter defending herself from the enemy—racks of children’s books, douche bags, aspirins, pots, blood—‘Don’t come near me—murderers! Keep away! Promise not to kill me!’

Louis in horror at the soda fountain—with Lakewood girlscouts—Coke addicts—nurses—busmen hung on schedule—Police from country precinct, dumbed—and a priest dreaming of pigs on an ancient cliff?

Smelling the air—Louis pointing to emptiness?—Customers vomiting their Cokes—or staring—Louis humiliated—Naomi triumphant—The Announcement of the Plot. Bus arrives, the drivers won’t have them on trip to New York.

Phonecalls to Dr. Whatzis, ‘She needs a rest,’ The mental hospital—State Greystone Doctors—‘Bring her here, Mr. Ginsberg.’

Naomi, Naomi—sweating, bulge-eyed, fat, the dress unbuttoned at one side—hair over brow, her stocking hanging evilly on her legs—screaming for a blood transfusion—one righteous hand upraised—a shoe in it—barefoot in the Pharmacy—

The enemies approach—what poisons? Tape recorders? FBI? Zhdanov hiding behind the counter? Trotsky mixing rat bacteria in the back of the store? Uncle Sam in Newark, plotting deathly perfumes in the Negro district? Uncle Ephraim, drunk with murder in the politician’s bar, scheming of Hague? Aunt Rose passing water thru the needles of the Spanish Civil War?

till the hired $35 ambulance came from Red Bank——Grabbed her arms—strapped her on the stretcher—moaning, poisoned by imaginaries, vomiting chemicals thru Jersey, begging mercy from Essex County to Morristown—

And back to Greystone where she lay three years—that was the last breakthrough, delivered her to Madhouse again—

On what wards—I walked there later, oft—old catatonic ladies, gray as cloud or ash or walls—sit crooning over floorspace—Chairs—and the wrinkled hags acreep, accusing—begging my 13-year-old mercy—

‘Take me home’—I went alone sometimes looking for the lost Naomi, taking Shock—and I’d say, ‘No, you’re crazy Mama,—Trust the Drs.’—



And Eugene, my brother, her elder son, away studying Law in a furnished room in Newark—

came Paterson-ward next day—and he sat on the broken-down couch in the living room—‘We had to send her back to Greystone’—

—his face perplexed, so young, then eyes with tears—then crept weeping all over his face—‘What for?’ wail vibrating in his cheekbones, eyes closed up, high voice—Eugene’s face of pain.

Him faraway, escaped to an Elevator in the Newark Library, his bottle daily milk on windowsill of $5 week furn room downtown at trolley tracks—

He worked 8 hrs. a day for $20/wk—thru Law School years—stayed by himself innocent near negro whorehouses.

Unlaid, poor virgin—writing poems about Ideals and politics letters to the editor Pat Eve News—(we both wrote, denouncing Senator Borah and Isolationists—and felt mysterious toward Paterson City Hall—

I sneaked inside it once—local Moloch tower with phallus spire & cap o’ ornament, strange gothic Poetry that stood on Market Street—replica Lyons’ Hotel de Ville—

wings, balcony & scrollwork portals, gateway to the giant city clock, secret map room full of Hawthorne—dark Debs in the Board of Tax—Rembrandt smoking in the gloom—

Silent polished desks in the great committee room—Aldermen? Bd of Finance? Mosca the hairdresser aplot—Crapp the gangster issuing orders from the john—The madmen struggling over Zone, Fire, Cops & Backroom Metaphysics—we’re all dead—outside by the bus stop Eugene stared thru childhood—

where the Evangelist preached madly for 3 decades, hard-haired, cracked & true to his mean Bible—chalked Prepare to Meet Thy God on civic pave—

or God is Love on the railroad overpass concrete—he raved like I would rave, the lone Evangelist—Death on City Hall—)

But Gene, young,—been Montclair Teachers College 4 years—taught half year & quit to go ahead in life—afraid of Discipline Problems—dark sex Italian students, raw girls getting laid, no English, sonnets disregarded—and he did not know much—just that he lost—

so broke his life in two and paid for Law—read huge blue books and rode the ancient elevator 13 miles away in Newark & studied up hard for the future

just found the Scream of Naomi on his failure doorstep, for the final time, Naomi gone, us lonely—home—him sitting there—

Then have some chicken soup, Eugene. The Man of Evangel wails in front of City Hall. And this year Lou has poetic loves of suburb middle age—in secret—music from his 1937 book—Sincere—he longs for beauty—

No love since Naomi screamed—since 1923?—now lost in Greystone ward—new shock for her—Electricity, following the 40 Insulin.

And Metrazol had made her fat.



So that a few years later she came home again—we’d much advanced and planned—I waited for that day—my Mother again to cook & —play the piano—sing at mandolin—Lung Stew, & Stenka Razin, & the communist line on the war with Finland—and Louis in debt—,uspected to he poisoned money—mysterious capitalisms

—& walked down the long front hall & looked at the furniture. She

never remembered it all. Some amnesia. Examined the doilies—and the dining room set was sold—

the Mahogany table—20 years love—gone to the junk man—we still had the piano—and the book of Poe—and the Mandolin, tho needed some string, dusty—

She went to the backroom to lie down in bed and ruminate, or nap, hide—I went in with her, not leave her by herself—lay in bed next to her—shades pulled, dusky, late afternoon—Louis in front room at desk, waiting—perhaps boiling chicken for supper—

‘Don’t be afraid of me because I’m just coming back home from the mental hospital—I’m your mother—’

Poor love, lost—a fear—I lay there—Said, ‘I love you Naomi,’—stiff, next to her arm. I would have cried, was this the comfortless lone union?—Nervous, and she got up soon.

Was she ever satisfied? And—by herself sat on the new couch by the front windows, uneasy—cheek leaning on her hand—narrowing eye—at what fate that day—

Picking her tooth with her nail, lips formed an O, suspicion—thought’s old worn vagina—absent sideglance of eye—some evil debt written in the wall, unpaid—& the aged breasts of Newark come near—

May have heard radio gossip thru the wires in her head, controlled by 3 big sticks left in her back by gangsters in amnesia, thru the hospital—caused pain between her shoulders—

Into her head—Roosevelt should know her case, she told me—Afraid to kill her, now, that the government knew their names—traced back to Hitler—wanted to leave Louis’ house forever.



One night, sudden attack—her noise in the bathroom—like croaking up her soul—convulsions and red vomit coming out of her mouth—diarrhea water exploding from her behind—on all fours in front of the toilet—urine running between her legs—left retching on the tile floor smeared with her black feces—unfainted—

At forty, varicosed, nude, fat, doomed, hiding outside the apartment door near the elevator calling Police, yelling for her girlfriend Rose to help—

Once locked herself in with razor or iodine—could hear her cough in tears at sink—Lou broke through glass green-painted door, we pulled her out to the bedroom.

Then quiet for months that winter—walks, alone, nearby on Broadway, read Daily Worker—Broke her arm, fell on icy street—

Began to scheme escape from cosmic financial murder-plots—later she ran away to the Bronx to her sister Elanor. And there’s another saga of late Naomi in New York.

Or thru Elanor or the Workmen’s Circle, where she worked, ad-dressing envelopes, she made out—went shopping for Campbell’s tomato soup—saved money Louis mailed her—

Later she found a boyfriend, and he was a doctor—Dr. Isaac worked for National Maritime Union—now Italian bald and pudgy old doll—who was himself an orphan—but they kicked him out—Old cruelties—

Sloppier, sat around on bed or chair, in corset dreaming to herself—‘I’m hot—I’m getting fat—I used to have such a beautiful figure before I went to the hospital—You should have seen me in Woodbine—’ This in a furnished room around the NMU hall, 1943.

Looking at naked baby pictures in the magazine—baby powder advertisements, strained lamb carrots—‘I will think nothing but beautiful thoughts.’

Revolving her head round and round on her neck at window light in summertime, in hypnotize, in doven-dream recall—

‘I touch his cheek, I touch his cheek, he touches my lips with his hand, I think beautiful thoughts, the baby has a beautiful hand.’—

Or a No-shake of her body, disgust—some thought of Buchenwald—some insulin passes thru her head—a grimace nerve shudder at Involuntary (as shudder when I piss)—bad chemical in her cortex—‘No don’t think of that. He’s a rat.’

Naomi: ‘And when we die we become an onion, a cabbage, a carrot, or a squash, a vegetable.’ I come downtown from Columbia and agree. She reads the Bible, thinks beautiful thoughts all day.

‘Yesterday I saw God. What did he look like? Well, in the afternoon I climbed up a ladder—he has a cheap cabin in the country, like Monroe, N.Y. the chicken farms in the wood. He was a lonely old man with a white beard.

‘I cooked supper for him. I made him a nice supper—lentil soup, vegetables, bread & butter—miltz—he sat down at the table and ate, he was sad.

‘I told him, Look at all those fightings and killings down there, What’s the matter? Why don’t you put a stop to it?

‘I try, he said—That’s all he could do, he looked tired. He’s a bachelor so long, and he likes lentil soup.’

Serving me meanwhile, a plate of cold fish—chopped raw cabbage dript with tapwater—smelly tomatoes—week-old health food—grated beets & carrots with leaky juice, warm—more and more disconsolate food—I can’t eat it for nausea sometimes—the Charity of her hands stinking with Manhattan, madness, desire to please me, cold undercooked fish—pale red near the bones. Her smells—and oft naked in the room, so that I stare ahead, or turn a book ignoring her.

One time I thought she was trying to make me come lay her—flirting to herself at sink—lay back on huge bed that filled most of the room, dress up round her hips, big slash of hair, scars of operations, pancreas, belly wounds, abortions, appendix, stitching of incisions pulling down in the fat like hideous thick zippers—ragged long lips between her legs—What, even, smell of asshole? I was cold—later revolted a little, not much—seemed perhaps a good idea to try—know the Monster of the Beginning Womb—Perhaps—that way. Would she care? She needs a lover.

Yisborach, v’yistabach, v’yispoar, v’yisroman, v’yisnaseh, v’yishador, v’yishalleh, v’yishallol, sh’meh d’kudsho, b’rich hu.

And Louis reestablishing himself in Paterson grimy apartment in negro district—living in dark rooms—but found himself a girl he later married, falling in love again—tho sere & shy—hurt with 20 years Naomi’s mad idealism.

Once I came home, after longtime in N.Y., he’s lonely—sitting in the bedroom, he at desk chair turned round to face me—weeps, tears in red eyes under his glasses—

That we’d left him—Gene gone strangely into army—she out on her own in N.Y., almost childish in her furnished room. So Louis walked downtown to postoffice to get mail, taught in highschool—stayed at poetry desk, forlorn—ate grief at Bickford’s all these years—are gone.

Eugene got out of the Army, came home changed and lone—cut off his nose in jewish operation—for years stopped girls on Broadway for cups of coffee to get laid—Went to NYU, serious there, to finish Law.—

And Gene lived with her, ate naked fishcakes, cheap, while she got crazier—He got thin, or felt helpless, Naomi striking 1920 poses at the moon, half-naked in the next bed.

bit his nails and studied—was the weird nurse-son—Next year he moved to a room near Columbia—though she wanted to live with her children—

‘Listen to your mother’s plea, I beg you’—Louis still sending her checks—I was in bughouse that year 8 months—my own visions unmentioned in this here Lament—

But then went half mad—Hitler in her room, she saw his mustache in the sink—afraid of Dr. Isaac now, suspecting that he was in on the Newark plot—went up to Bronx to live near Elanor’s Rheumatic Heart—

And Uncle Max never got up before noon, tho Naomi at 6 A.M. was listening to the radio for spies—or searching the windowsill,

for in the empty lot downstairs, an old man creeps with his bag stuffing packages of garbage in his hanging black overcoat.

Max’s sister Edie works—17 years bookkeeper at Gimbels—lived downstairs in apartment house, divorced—so Edie took in Naomi on Rochambeau Ave—

Woodlawn Cemetery across the street, vast dale of graves where Poe once—Last stop on Bronx subway—lots of communists in that area.

Who enrolled for painting classes at night in Bronx Adult High School—walked alone under Van Cortlandt Elevated line to class—paints Naomiisms—

Humans sitting on the grass in some Camp No-Worry summers yore—saints with droopy faces and long-ill-fitting pants, from hospital—

Brides in front of Lower East Side with short grooms—lost El trains running over the Babylonian apartment rooftops in the Bronx—

Sad paintings—but she expressed herself. Her mandolin gone, all strings broke in her head, she tried. Toward Beauty? or some old life Message?

But started kicking Elanor, and Elanor had heart trouble—came upstairs and asked her about Spydom for hours,—Elanor frazzled. Max away at office, accounting for cigar stores till at night.

‘I am a great woman—am truly a beautiful soul—and because of that they (Hitler, Grandma, Hearst, the Capitalists, Franco, Daily News, the ’20s, Mussolini, the living dead) want to shut me up—Buba’s the head of a spider network—’

Kicking the girls, Edie & Elanor—Woke Edie at midnite to tell her she was a spy and Elanor a rat. Edie worked all day and couldn’t take it—She was organizing the union.—And Elanor began dying, upstairs in bed.

The relatives call me up, she’s getting worse—I was the only one left—Went on the subway with Eugene to see her, ate stale fish—

‘My sister whispers in the radio—Louis must be in the apartment—his mother tells him what to say—LIARS!—I cooked for my two children—I played the mandolin—’

Last night the nightingale woke me / Last night when all was still / it sang in the golden moonlight / from on the wintry hill. She did.

I pushed her against the door and shouted ‘DON’T KICK ELANOR!’—she stared at me—Contempt—die—disbelief her sons are so naive, so dumb—‘Elanor is the worst spy! She’s taking orders!’

‘—No wires in the room!’—I’m yelling at her—last ditch, Eugene listening on the bed—what can he do to escape that fatal Mama—‘You’ve been away from Louis years already—Grandma’s too old to walk—’

We’re all alive at once then—even me & Gene & Naomi in one mythological Cousinesque room—screaming at each other in the Forever—I in Columbia jacket, she half undressed.

I banging against her head which saw Radios, Sticks, Hitlers—the gamut of Hallucinations—for real—her own universe—no road that goes elsewhere—to my own—No America, not even a world—

That you go as all men, as Van Gogh, as mad Hannah, all the same—to the last doom—Thunder, Spirits, lightning!

I’ve seen your grave! O strange Naomi! My own—cracked grave! Shema Y’Israel—I am Svul Avrum—you—in death?



Your last night in the darkness of the Bronx—I phonecalled—thru hospital to secret police

that came, when you and I were alone, shrieking at Elanor in my ear—who breathed hard in her own bed, got thin—

Nor will forget, the doorknock, at your fright of spies,—Law advancing, on my honor—Eternity entering the room—you running to the bathroom undressed, hiding in protest from the last heroic fate—

staring at my eyes, betrayed—the final cops of madness rescuing me—from your foot against the broken heart of Elanor,

your voice at Edie weary of Gimbels coming home to broken radio—and Louis needing a poor divorce, he wants to get married soon—Eugene dreaming, hiding at 125 St., suing negroes for money on crud furniture, defending black girls—

Protests from the bathroom—Said you were sane—dressing in a cotton robe, your shoes, then new, your purse and newspaper clippingsno—your honesty—

as you vainly made your lips more real with lipstick, looking in the mirror to see if the Insanity was Me or a earful of police.

or Grandma spying at 78—Your vision—Her climbing over the walls of the cemetery with political kidnapper’s bag—or what you saw on the walls of the Bronx, in pink nightgown at midnight, staring out the window on the empty lot—

Ah Rochambeau Ave.—Playground of Phantoms—last apartment in the Bronx for spies—last home for Elanor or Naomi, here these communist sisters lost their revolution—

‘All right—put on your coat Mrs.—let’s go—We have the wagon downstairs—you want to come with her to the station?’

The ride then—held Naomi’s hand, and held her head to my breast, I’m taller—kissed her and said I did it for the best—Elanor sick—and Max with heart condition—Needs—

To me—‘Why did you do this?’—‘Yes Mrs., your son will have to leave you in an hour’—The Ambulance

came in a few hours—drove off at 4 A.M. to some Bellevue in the night downtown—gone to the hospital forever. I saw her led away—she waved, tears in her eyes.



Two years, after a trip to Mexico—bleak in the flat plain near Brentwood, scrub brush and grass around the unused RR train track to the crazyhouse—

new brick 20 story central building—lost on the vast lawns of madtown on Long Island—huge cities of the moon.

Asylum spreads out giant wings above the path to a minute black hole—the door—entrance thru crotch—

I went in—smelt funny—the halls again—up elevator—to a glass door on a Women’s Ward—to Naomi—Two nurses buxom white—They led her out, Naomi stared—and I gaspt—She’d had a stroke—

Too thin, shrunk on her bones—age come to Naomi—now broken into white hair—loose dress on her skeleton—face sunk, old! withered—cheek of crone—

One hand stiff—heaviness of forties & menopause reduced by one heart stroke, lame now—wrinkles—a scar on her head, the lobotomy—ruin, the hand dipping downwards to death—



O Russian faced, woman on the grass, your long black hair is crowned with flowers, the mandolin is on your knees—

Communist beauty, sit here married in the summer among daisies, promised happiness at hand—

holy mother, now you smile on your love, your world is born anew, children run naked in the field spotted with dandelions,

they eat in the plum tree grove at the end of the meadow and find a cabin where a white-haired negro teaches the mystery of his rainbarrel—

blessed daughter come to America, I long to hear your voice again, remembering your mother’s music, in the Song of the Natural Front—

O glorious muse that bore me from the womb, gave suck first mystic life & taught me talk and music, from whose pained head I first took Vision—

Tortured and beaten in the skull—What mad hallucinations of the damned that drive me out of my own skull to seek Eternity till I find Peace for Thee, O Poetry—and for all humankind call on the Origin

Death which is the mother of the universe!—Now wear your nakedness forever, white flowers in your hair, your marriage sealed behind the sky—no revolution might destroy that maidenhood—

O beautiful Garbo of my Karma—all photographs from 1920 in Camp Nicht-Gedeiget here unchanged—with all the teachers from Vewark—Nor Elanor be gone, nor Max await his specter—nor Louis retire from this High School—



Back! You! Naomi! Skull on you! Gaunt immortality and revolution come—small broken woman—the ashen indoor eyes of hospitals, ward grayness on skin—

‘Are you a spy?’ I sat at the sour table, eyes filling with tears—‘Who are you? Did Louis send you?—The wires—’

in her hair, as she beat on her head—‘I’m not a bad girl—don’t murder me!—I hear the ceiling—I raised two children—’

Two years since I’d been there—I started to cry—She stared—nurse broke up the meeting a moment—I went into the bathroom to hide, against the toilet white walls

‘The Horror’ I weeping—to see her again—‘The Horror’—as if she were dead thru funeral rot in—‘The Horror!’

I came back she yelled more—they led her away—‘You’re not Allen—’ I watched her face—but she passed by me, not looking—

Opened the door to the ward,—she went thru without a glance back, quiet suddenly—I stared out—she looked old—the verge of the grave—‘All the Horror!’



Another year, I left N.Y.—on West Coast in Berkeley cottage dreamed of her soul—that, thru life, in what form it stood in that body, ashen or manic, gone beyond joy—

near its death—with eyes—was my own love in its form, the Naomi, my mother on earth still—sent her long letter—& wrote hymns to the mad—Work of the merciful Lord of Poetry.

that causes the broken grass to be green, or the rock to break in grass—or the Sun to be constant to earth—Sun of all sunflowers and days on bright iron bridges—what shines on old hospitals—as on my yard—

Returning from San Francisco one night, Orlovsky in my room—Whalen in his peaceful chair—a telegram from Gene, Naomi dead—

Outside I bent my head to the ground under the bushes near the garage—knew she was better—

at last—not left to look on Earth alone—2 years of solitude—no one, at age nearing 60—old woman of skulls—once long-tressed Naomi of Bible—

or Ruth who wept in America—Rebecca aged in Newark—David remembering his Harp, now lawyer at Yale

or Srul Avrum—Israel Abraham—myself—to sing in the wilderness toward God—O Elohim!—so to the end—2 days after her death I got her letter—

Strange Prophecies anew! She wrote—‘The key is in the window, the key is in the sunlight at the window—I have the key—Get married Allen don’t take drugs—the key is in the bars, in the sunlight in the window.

Love,

your mother’

which is Naomi—



Hymmnn



In the world which He has created according to his will Blessed Praised

Magnified Lauded Exalted the Name of the Holy One Blessed is He!

In the house in Newark Blessed is He! In the madhouse Blessed is He! In the house of Death Blessed is He!

Blessed be He in homosexuality! Blessed be He in Paranoia! Blessed be He in the city! Blessed be He in the Book!

Blessed be He who dwells in the shadow! Blessed be He! Blessed be He!

Blessed be you Naomi in tears! Blessed be you Naomi in fears! Blessed Blessed Blessed in sickness!

Blessed be you Naomi in Hospitals! Blessed be you Naomi in solitude! Blest be your triumph! Blest be your bars! Blest be your last years’ loneliness!

Blest be your failure! Best be your stroke! Blest be the close of your eye! Blest be the gaunt of your cheek! Blest be your withered thighs!

Blessed be Thee Naomi in Death! Blessed be Death! Blessed be Death!

Blessed be He Who leads all sorrow to Heaven! Blessed be He in the end!

Blessed be He who builds Heaven in Darkness! Blessed Blessed Blessed be He! Blessed be He! Blessed be Death on us All!



III

Only to have not forgotten the beginning in which she drank cheap sodas in the morgues of Newark,

only to have seen her weeping on gray tables in long wards of her universe

only to have known the weird ideas of Hitler at the door, the wires in her head, the three big sticks

rammed down her back, the voices in the ceiling shrieking out her ugly early lays for 30 years,

only to have seen the time-jumps, memory lapse, the crash of wars, the roar and silence of a vast electric shock,

only to have seen her painting crude pictures of Elevateds running over the rooftops of the Bronx

her brothers dead in Riverside or Russia, her lone in Long Island writing a last letter—and her image in the sunlight at the window

‘The key is in the sunlight at the window in the bars the key is in the sunlight,’

only to have come to that dark night on iron bed by stroke when the sun gone down on Long Island

and the vast Atlantic roars outside the great call of Being to its own

to come back out of the Nightmare—divided creation—with her head lain on a pillow of the hospital to die

—in one last glimpse—all Earth one everlasting Light in the familiar black-out—no tears for this vision—

But that the key should be left behind—at the window—the key in the sunlight—to the living—that can take

that slice of light in hand—and turn the door—and look back see

Creation glistening backwards to the same grave, size of universe,

size of the tick of the hospital's clock on the archway over the white door—



IV



O mother

what have I left out

O mother

what have I forgotten

O mother

farewell

with a long black shoe

farewell

with Communist Party and a broken stocking

farewell

with six dark hairs on the wen of your breast

farewell

with your old dress and a long black beard around the vagina

farewell

with your sagging belly

with your fear of Hitler

with your mouth of bad short stories

with your fingers of rotten mandolins

with your arms of fat Paterson porches

with your belly of strikes and smokestacks

with your chin of Trotsky and the Spanish War

with your voice singing for the decaying overbroken workers

with your nose of bad lay with your nose of the smell of the pickles of Newark

with your eyes

with your eyes of Russia

with your eyes of no money

with your eyes of false China

with your eyes of Aunt Elanor

with your eyes of starving India

with your eyes pissing in the park

with your eyes of America taking a fall

with your eyes of your failure at the piano

with your eyes of your relatives in California

with your eyes of Ma Rainey dying in an aumbulance

with your eyes of Czechoslovakia attacked by robots

with your eyes going to painting class at night in the Bronx

with your eyes of the killer Grandma you see on the horizon from the Fire-Escape

with your eyes running naked out of the apartment screaming into the hall

with your eyes being led away by policemen to an aumbulance

with your eyes strapped down on the operating table

with your eyes with the pancreas removed

with your eyes of appendix operation

with your eyes of abortion

with your eyes of ovaries removed

with your eyes of shock

with your eyes of lobotomy

with your eyes of divorce

with your eyes of stroke

with your eyes alone

with your eyes

with your eyes

with your Death full of Flowers



V



Caw caw caw crows shriek in the white sun over grave stones in Long Island

Lord Lord Lord Naomi underneath this grass my halflife and my own as hers

caw caw my eye be buried in the same Ground where I stand in Angel

Lord Lord great Eye that stares on All and moves in a black cloud

caw caw strange cry of Beings flung up into sky over the waving trees

Lord Lord O Grinder of giant Beyonds my voice in a boundless field in Sheol

Caw caw the call of Time rent out of foot and wing an instant in the universe

Lord Lord an echo in the sky the wind through ragged leaves the roar of memory

caw caw all years my birth a dream caw caw New York the bus the broken shoe the vast highschool caw caw all Visions of the Lord

Lord Lord Lord caw caw caw Lord Lord Lord caw caw caw Lord

Paris, December 1957—New York, 1959


Allen Ginsberg, “Kaddish” from Collected Poems, 1947-1980. Copyright © 1984 by Allen Ginsberg.





Ginsberg by Julia Vinograd 


https://www.facebook.com/lmanimekalai/posts/10152692776192645






No blame. Anyone who wrote Howl and Kaddish
earned the right to make any possible mistake
for the rest of his life.
I just wish I hadn’t made this mistake with him.
It was during the Vietnam war
and he was giving a great protest reading
in Washington Square Park
and nobody wanted to leave.
So Ginsberg got the idea, “I’m going to shout
‘the war is over’ as loud as I can,” he said
“and all of you run over the city
in different directions
yelling the war is over, shout it in offices,
shops, everywhere and when enough people
believe the war is over
why, not even the politicians
will be able to keep it going.”
I thought it was a great idea at the time
a truly poetic idea.
So when Ginsberg yelled I ran down the street
and leaned in the doorway
of the sort of respectable down on its luck cafeteria
where librarians and minor clerks have lunch
and I yelled “the war is over.”
And a little old lady looked up
from her cottage cheese and fruit salad.
She was so ordinary she would have been invisible
except for the terrible light
filling her face as she whispered
“My son. My son is coming home.”
I got myself out of there and was sick in some bushes.
That was the first time I believed there was a war.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

ஓசிப் மெண்டல்ஷ்டாம்(Oship Mandelshtam) கவிதைகள் - மொ. பெ : பிரம்மராஜன் & (தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)

ஓசிப் மெண்டல்ஷ்டாம் (Oship Mandelshtam)  கவிதைகள்
 மொ. பெ : பிரம்மராஜன்

 கவிதை எண் 40* -

நம்மால் தாங்கிக் கொள்ள முடியாத                                          தர்மசங்கடமான நிசப்தத்தின்
அழுத்தத்தை
என்றாலும் ஒரு ஆன்மா நலமில்லாதிருப்பது                       நம்மை
வருத்துகிறது.
மேலும் அந்தப் பொதுவான குழப்பத்தில், ஒரு                      மனிதன்
வெளியில் வருகிறான் கவிதை சொல்ல
அவர்கள் அவனை வரவேற்றனர்                                               சந்தோஷமான கூச்சலுடன் :
“ஆரம்பி”

கண்ணுக்குப் புலனாக மனிதன் அங்கே நின்று
கொண்டிருந்தான் - அவனை நான் அறிவேன்.
பீதிஇரவின் மனிதன் ஒருவன் வாசித்துக்                               கொண்டிருந்தான்
உளாலுமே*2
அர்த்தம் தற்பெருமையானது சொற்கள் வெறும்                 ஒலிகள்
பேச்சொலியியலோ தேவதைகளின்                                         கைப்பாவை.

எட்கர் ஆலன் போ அவனது யாழினை வாசித்து                  உஷரின் வீடு*3
பற்றி பாடினான்,
பைத்தியக்காரன் தண்ணீர் பருகினான்,                                 தன்னிலை  அடைந்தான்,
நின்றான் ஊமையாக.
நான் வெளியே அந்தத் தெருவில் இருந்தேன்.
இலையுதிர்காலத்தின் பட்டுப்போன்ற விசில்-
எனது கழுத்தைச் சுற்றி கதகதப்பாக, ஒரு சில்க் கைகுட்டையின்
குறுகுறுப்பு....

*பீட்டர்ஸ்பர்கில் ஒரு மாலை நேரத்தைப் பற்றிய இந்தக்கவிதை  Vladimir Pyast என்கிற ரஷ்யக்கவிஞன் எட்கர் ஆலன் போவின் உளாலுமே கவிதையைப் வாசித்தபடி பைத்தியமானதைச் சொல்கிறது.

*2 எட்கர் ஆலன் போவின் Ulalume கவிதை.

*3 எட்கர் ஆலன் போவின்  ஒரு கதையின் தலைப்பு The Fall of the House of Usher (1840)
ஆங்கில மொ. பெ : Robert Tracy

கவிதை எண் 30.

பனிப்புகையில், மாறிக்கொண்டேயிருக்கும் உனது
துன்புறுத்தும் வடிவின் அருகில் நெருங்க முடியவில்லை
“இறைவா” என்று சொன்னேன், அப்படிச் சொல்ல
நினைக்காமலே,
ஆனால் தவறி வெளிப்பட்டு விட்டது அந்தச் சொல்.

என் இதயத்திலிருந்து, ஒரு பெரிய பறவையைப் போல,
கடவுளின் நாமம் திடீரென்று பறந்து சென்றது.
மேலே அடர்ந்த பனிப்புகை முன்னேறிக் கிளர்ந்தது
ஒரு வெற்றுக்கூடு எனக்குப் பின்னால் இருந்தது
ஆங்கில மொ. பெ : Robert Tracy

கவிதை எண் 303

-என்ன தெரு இது?
-மெண்டல்ஷ்டாம் தெரு.
-என்ன நாசமாய்ப் போன பெயர் அது?
எந்தப் பக்கம் திருப்பினாலும் கூட
இது கோணல்மாணலாகவே வருகிறது.

-அவரும் கூட நேரான ஆள் இல்லை துல்லியமான வகையில்.
அவரது அறநெறிகள் லில்லி மலரை ஒத்திருக்கவில்லை.
மேலும் அக்காரணத்தினால்தான் இந்தத் தெருவுக்கு (மாறாக,
நேர்மையாகச் சொல்வதானால், இந்த சாக்கடைக்கு)
மெண்டல்ஷ்டாம் என்று பெயர் தரப்பட்டது.

ஆங்கில மொ. பெ : W.S.Merwin & Clarence Brown.


கவிதை எண் 5

நுண்ணுர்வு திறனை விடக் கூடுதலான மென்மை
உனது முகம்
தூய்மையை விடத் தூய்மையானதாக
உனது கரம்
உன்னால் இயன்ற வரை இந்த உலகிலிருந்து
தொலைவாக வாழ்ந்து கொண்டு
மேலும் உன் தொடர்பான யாவுமே
எப்படி இருக்க வேண்டுமோ அப்படி

இதுவெல்லாம் இப்படி இருக்க வேண்டும்
உனது துயரம்
மேலும் உனது ஸ்பரிசம்
என்றுமே குளிர்ந்து விடாது,
மேலும் அந்த அரவமற்ற பிடிப்பு
நீ சொல்லும் விஷயங்களில்
புகார் இன்றி சொல்வது,
மேலும் உனது கண்கள்
தொலை தூரத்தில் பார்த்துக் கொண்டு.


கவிதை எண் 11

பேச்சுக்கு அங்கே அவசியமில்லை
போதிப்பதற்கு ஒன்றுமில்லை.
எவ்வளவு சோகமானது ஆயினும் அழகானது
இந்த இருண்ட காட்டுமிராண்டித்தனமான                                   ஆன்மா

அது எதையுமே போதிப்பதற்கு                                                            விரும்புவதில்லை
பேசும் திறனையும் இழந்ததாய் இருக்கிறது,
ஒரு இளம் டால்ஃபினைப் போல் நீந்துகிறது
உலகின் புகைநிறத்து ஆழங்கள்                                                      வெளிச்சமற்றிருக்கும்
இடங்களில்.



கவிதை எண் 31

இல்லை, நிலா இல்லை, ஆனால் ஒரு கடிகாரத்தின் முகம் விகசிக்கிறது,
எனக்கு -- நானா பொறுப்பு
வெளிறிய நட்சத்திரங்கள் எனக்கு பால்போலத் தெரிந்தால்?

நான் பாத்யுஷ்கோவின் * திமிரை வெறுக்கிறேன்
“இப்பொழுது என்ன நேரம்?” அவர்கள் அவனிடம் கேட்டனர்
ஒரு முறை
அதற்கவன் பதில் அளித்தான், “நித்தியத்துவம்”

*Konstantin Batyushkov(1787-1855) புஷ்கினின் சமகாலத்து கவிஞர். புஷ்கின் அளவு பிரபலமாகவில்லை. .... Greek Anthology யை ரஷ்ய மொழியில் மொழிபெயர்த்தவர். 1821 ஆம் ஆண்டு முற்றிலும் பைத்தியமானவர்.

http://brammarajan.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/osip-mandelstam_unpublished-poems



"No, Not the Moon..."


No, not the moon, but simple dial-plate
Is lightning me, and ‘tis my nasty fate,
That lights of stars I feel as light internal!

And loftiness of Batyushkov I hate:
"What time is it?" - he had been asked there
                                        late --
And he had answered with curiosity "Eternal!"

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver October, 1994


கவிதை எண் .23



இன்றைய நாள் ஒரு மோசமான நாள்
சிக்கடா பூச்சிகளின் கோரஸ் தூங்குகிறது
சிகரத்தின் இருண்ட நிழல் பரவல்
இருளார்ந்திருக்கிறது சவக்குழிகள் போல.


ஒலிக்கும் அம்புகள் மின்னுகின்றன
பெரும் துன்பக்குறிகளின் அடையாளமான அண்டங்காக்கைகள் கத்துகின்றன. . .
நான் தூங்கும்போது தீவினையான விஷயங்களை கண்ணுறுகிறேன்
ஒன்றடுத்து ஒன்றாக அவை மின்னி மறைவதை.


உயிர்ப்பின் சுவர்களை உடைத்தெறி
பூமியின் சிறையை நொறுக்கு
வன்முறையான கீதங்கள் பாடட்டும்
கலகத்தின் செருக்குமிக்க மர்மங்களை



ஆன்மாக்களுக்கான தராசு பிசகுவதில்லை,
அது கண்மூடித்தனமாக நேராய்ச் சரிகிறது,
மேலும் பூட்டப்பட்ட நமது கதவுகளின் மீதாக
விதியின் உணர்ச்சி கிளர்ந்த தட்டல்கள் . . .





கவிதை எண் 25.



ஏன் அப்படிப்பட்ட பாடல்கள் என் ஆன்மாவில் இருக்கின்றன
மேலும் ஏன் அவ்வளவு குறைவான அன்புமிக்க பெயர்கள்?
ஒரு லயத்தின் கணம் ஏன் வெறும் சந்தர்ப்பவசமாய் இருக்க வேண்டும்
அக்விலோன் எனும் வடக்குக் காற்று திடீரென வரும்பொழுது?


அது ஒரு புழுதி மேகத்தைக் கிளப்பி விடும்,
காகித இலைகளை முணுமுணுத்து முன்னும் பின்னுமாய் அசையச் செய்யும்,
மேலும் திரும்ப வரவே வராது–அல்லது வரும்
ஒவ்வொரு விதத்திலும் வேறுபட்டதாக.



ஆர்ஃபிக் காற்றே, நீ வீசுகிறாய் தூரமாகவும் அகண்டமாகவும்.
நீ நுழைவாய் கடலின் பிரதேசங்களில்.
இன்னும் உருவாக்கப்படாத ஒரு வார்த்தையை சீராடினேன் நான்
நான் துறந்தேன் பயனற்ற “நானை”.


நான் ஒரு சிறிய வடிவ காட்டில் திரிந்தேன்
வானத்தின் நிறத்தில் ஒரு குகையைக் கண்டேன். . .
நான் நிஜம்தானா? நான் இருக்கிறேனா?
மேலும் நான் மெய்யாகவே இறந்து விடுவேனா?

கவிதை எண் 45.



. . . நள்ளிரவுப் பெண்களின் துணிச்சல்,
எரிநட்சத்திரங்களின் அபாயத்திற்கஞ்சாத வீழ்ச்சி.
ஒரு நாடோடி என் மேல்கோட்டினைப் பிடித்திழுக்கிறான்–இன்றிரவு தங்குவதற்கு
ஒரு படுக்கைக்கு காசிருக்கிறதா என்று கேட்கிறான் என்னிடம்?


சொல் எனக்கு யார்தான் என் பிரக்ஞையை
மறக்கடிப்பார்கள் மதுவைக் கொண்டு?
யதார்த்தம் என்பது பீட்டரின் கண்டுபிடிப்பாக இருந்தால்:
இந்த கிரானைட், வெண்கலக் குதிரை வீரன்*?
கோட்டையிலிருந்து அடிக்கப்படும் சல்யூட் கேட்கிறது எனக்கு
அது எப்படி கதகதப்பாய் மாறுகிதென்பதையும் கவனிக்கிறேன்.
ஒரு வேளை கீழே நிலவறைகளில் இருப்போரும்
இந்த சப்தத்தைக் கேட்க முடியும்.
என் காய்ச்சல் மிகுந்த மூளையின் கோர்வையின்மைக்கு
அடியில்
இருக்கின்றன நட்சத்திரங்களும் அர்த்தம் கூடிய பேச்சும்,
நெவா நதியின் மேற்கில் மீண்டும் காற்று.



கவிதை எண் 14. அமைதித்துவம்*1.

அவளுடைய பிறப்பே இனிமேல்தான்.
அவளும் வார்த்தையும் இசையும் ஒன்று
எனவே வாழ்வு முழுவதிலும்
ஒருமையைக் காப்பாற்றுகிறாள் அவள் தொடர்ச்சி உடையாமல்.
சமுத்திரத்தின் மார்பகங்கள் மென்மையாக உயர்ந்து தாழ்கின்றன
ஆனால் பகலோ பைத்தியக்காரனைப் போல ஒளிர்கிறது
கடல்நுரை வாடிய லைலாக் மலரைப் போலிருக்கிறது
ஒரு மேகம் சூழ்ந்த வானின் நீலத்துக் குவளையில்.


என்னுடைய உதடுகள் கண்டுபிடிப்பதாக இருக்கட்டும்
எது ஒன்று எப்பொழுதுமே பேச்சற்றிருந்ததோ அதை,
புதிதாய் பிறப்பெடுத்ததும் பரிசுத்தமானதுமான
ஒரு படிக ஸ்ருதியைப் போல.



அஃப்ரோடைட்டி*2, நுரையாகவே இருந்து விடு.
வார்த்தை மறுபடியும் இசையாக மாறட்டும்.
என் இதயமே. நீ இதயங்களைத் தூக்கி எறிய வேண்டும்
அதில் பிணைந்துதான் எல்லா விஷயங்களுமே வருகின்றன.



1*இதேதலைப்பில்மெண்டல்ஷ்டாமுக்கு
முந்தியதலைமுறைக்கவிஞரானTyutchev  வின்கவிதை(1830) ஒன்றுஇருக்கிறது.

2*கிரேக்ககாதல்கடவுளானவீனஸ், கடல் நுரையிலிருந்து பிறந்ததான ஒரு ஐதீகம் உண்டு. அஃப்ரோஸ் என்ற கிரேக்க சொல்லுக்கு நுரை என்றுபொருள். வீனஸின் பிறப்பு பற்றி Botticelli  என்ற ஓவியர் Birth of Venus என்றதலைப்பிலானஓவியமும்
இந்தக்கவிதைக்குதூண்டுதலாக
இருந்திருக்கவாய்ப்பிருக்கிறது.



கவிதை எண் 11.

பேச்சுக்கு அங்கே அவசியமில்லை
போதிப்பதற்கு ஒன்றுமில்லை.
எவ்வளவு சோகமானது ஆயினும் அழகானது
இந்த இருண்ட காட்டுமிராண்டித்தனமான ஆன்மா.


அது எதையுமே போதிப்பதற்கு விரும்புவதில்லை
பேசும் திறனையும் இழந்ததாய் இருக்கிறது,
ஒரு இளம் டால்ஃபினைப் போல நீந்துகிறது
உலகின் புகைநிறத்து ஆழங்கள் வெளிச்சமற்றிருக்கும் இடங்களில்.

கவிதை எண் 24*.

தெளிவற்ற இலைகளின் ஒரு விதைப்புடன்
கருத்த காற்று சலசலத்துக் கடந்து செல்கிறது.
துடித்தொளிரும் ஊர்க்குருவி இருண்ட வானத்தின்
பின்னணியில் ஒரு வட்டத்தை வரைகிறது.


மென்மையாய்ச் சாகும் என் இதயத்தில்
நெருங்கி வரும் அந்தி மயக்கத்திற்கும்
முடிவுறும் பகல் வெளிச்சத்திற்குமிடையே
ஒரு மௌனமான விவாதம்


மேலே ஒரு தாமிர நிலா.
இரவால் இருளால் நிரப்பப்பட்ட காடுகள்.
ஏன் அவ்வளவு குறைவான சங்கீதமே இருக்கிறது?
மேலும் ஏன் அவ்வளவு நிச்சலனம்?



*இதேகவிதையைW.S.Merwin & Clarence Brown(Osip Mandelstam:Selected Poems,1977) ஆகியோர்பாடபேதத்துடன்மொழிபெயர்த்திருக்கிறார்கள். இருப்பினும் Robert Tracyயின்மொழிபெயர்ப்பேசிறந்ததாகத்தெரிகிறது.



கவிதை எண் 66*.

பூ மலரும் நகரங்களின் பெயர்கள்
காதுகளை வருடட்டும் அவற்றின் குறுகிய காலத்துப் பெருமையுடன்.
நூற்றாண்டுகளின் ஊடாக வாழ்ந்திருப்பது ரோம் நகரமல்லHellas is Greece, and the Achaeans are the Greeks journeying to the Trojan War. Homer compares the clans to the
ஆனால் பிரபஞ்ச அமைப்பில் மனிதனின் இடம்.
மன்னர்கள் கைப்பற்றப் பார்க்கின்றனர் அதை, பாதிரியார்கள் பயன்படுத்தமுயல்கின்றனர் அதை, ஒரு போரை நியாயப்படுத்த வேண்டிய போது
அது இல்லாமல் போகையில், வீடுகளும் பலிபீடங்களும் வெறுப்புக்கு உகந்தவையாயிருக்கின்றன
ஒரு மோசமான குப்பைக் குவியலைப் போல, அதற்கு மேல் ஒன்றுமேயில்லை.



*Robert Tracyமொழிபெயர்ப்பு.



கவிதை எண் 73

நெருப்பு தன் பிழம்பு நாக்குகளால்
என் உலர்ந்த வாழ்வினை இல்லாமல் ஆக்குகிறது.
பாறைப் பாடல்களே இனி கிடையாது,
நான் இன்று மரம் பற்றிப் பாடுகிறேன்.


அது கனமற்றும் ஒழுங்கற்றும் இருக்கிறது
ஒரே ஒரு துண்டிலிருந்து, வேறு ஒன்றுமில்லை.
ஓக் மரத்தின் இதயம்
மீனவனின் துடுப்பு இரண்டும்.


அடுக்குகளை கூடுதலான உறுதியுடன் உள் செலுத்து,
சுத்திகள், இறுக்கமாக தாக்கு.
ஓ, மரத்தாலான சொர்க்கமே
அங்கே எல்லாப் பொருள்களுமே லகுவே.

கவிதை எண்.101

பயங்கர உயரத்தில் ஒரு அலையும் நெருப்பு
அப்படி மின்னுவது ஒரு நட்ஷத்திரமாக இருக்க முடியுமா?
ஒளி ஊடுருவித் தெரியும் நட்ஷத்திரமே, அலையும் நெருப்பே,
உனது சகோதரன், பெட்ரோபொலிஸ்*, இறந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறான்.


பூமியின் கனவுகள் ஒரு பயங்கர உயரத்தில் கொழுந்து விட்டு எரிகின்றன,
ஒரு பச்சை நிற நட்ஷத்திரம் மின்னுகிறது.
ஓ, நீ ஒரு நட்ஷத்திரமாக இருந்தால், இந்த தண்ணீரின், ஆகாயத்தின் சகோதரன்,
உன் சகோதரன், பெட்ரோபொலிஸ், இறந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறான்.


ஒரு பிரம்மாண்ட கப்பல் ஒரு அசுர உயரத்திலிருந்து
பாய்ந்து வந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறது, தன் சிறகுகளைப் பரப்பியபடி
பச்சை நிற நட்ஷத்திரமே, அற்புத ஏழ்மையில்
உன் சகோதரன், பெட்ரோபொலிஸ், இறந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறான்.


கறுப்பு நிற நெவா நதிக்கு மேலாக ஒளி ஊடுருவித் தெரியும் வசந்தம்
வந்து விட்டது, இறவாமையின் மெழுகு உருகிக்கொண்டிருக்கிறது.
ஓ, நீ ஒரு நட்ஷத்திரமாக இருந்தால், பெட்ரோபொலிஸ், உனது நகரம்,
உன் சகோதரன், பெட்ரோபொலிஸ், இறந்து கொண்டிருக்கிறான்.


*வேறுசிலகவிஞர்களைப்போல (எடுத்துக்காட்டாகDerzhavin) மெண்டல்ஷ்டாம் புனிதபீட்டர்ஸ்பர்க்கை பெட்ரோபொலிஸ்எ ன்றேகுறிப்பிடுகிறார். பெட்ரோஎ ன்பது பீட்டர் என்றுஅர்த்தப்படும். பொலிஸ் என்பது நகரத்துக்கான லத்தீன்சொல்



கவிதை எண்.89



ஒளி ஊடுருவித் தெரியும் பெட்ரோபொலிஸ் நகரில் நாம் இறப்போம்,
நமது அரசி பெர்சிஃபோன் முன்பாக.
நாம் பெரு மூச்சு விடுகையில் நாம் மரணத்தின் காற்றினை விழுங்குகிறோம்
ஒவ்வொரு மணி நேரமும் நமது கடைசி கணங்களைக் கொண்டாடுகிறது.



கடலின் பெண் கடவுள், கண்டிப்பான எத்தேனா
உனது பெரும் பாறையிலான தலைக் கவசத்தினைத் மேலே தூக்கு.
நாம் இறப்போம் ஒளி ஊடுருவித் தெரியும் பெட்ரோபொலிஸ் நகரில்,
நீயல்ல, அங்கே பெர்சிஃபோன்*தான் அரசி.


*பாதாள உலகத்தின் தேவதை. ஒருவருடத்தின் மூன்றில்ஒ ருபகுதியில் பாதாள உலகத்திலும் ஒரு பகுதியில் பூமியிலும் வாழ்கிறாள், கிரேக்கப்புராணிகத்தின்படி.

ரோமானியர்கள் Prosperina  என்று இவளை அழைத்தனர். விதைகள் பூமியில் முளைக்கக் காரணம் என்று கருதப்படுகிறவள். எனினும் விதை முளைப்புச்சடங்குகளில் பெர்சிஃபோனின் பெயரைச் சொல்லக்கூடாது என்றஐதீகம் இருந்தது.



பீதோவனுக்கு ஒரு பாடல்

சில சமயங்களில் ஒரு கறாரான இதயம் இருக்கிறது
அதை நீங்கள் காதலித்தாலும் அருகில் வரத் துணியமாட்டீர்கள்.
ஒரு இருட்டாக்கப்பட்ட அறை அதில் நெருப்பு எரிகிறது
கேட்கும் சக்தியை இழந்த பீதோவனின் அறை.
துன்புறுத்துபவனே. நான் என்றுமே அறிய முடிந்ததில்லை
பொங்கி வழியும் உன் மனமகிழ்வைப் பற்றி.
மேலும் இப்போது ஏற்கனவே இசை நிகழ்த்துபவன்
இசைச் சுவடியை தூர வீசுகிறான், சாம்பலாக எரிக்கப்பட்டு.


பூமியே கூட இடியினால் குமுறிக் கொண்டிருக்கும் பொழுது
மேலும் ஆற்றின் குமுறல் காட்டுத்தனமாக ஊளையிடும்பொழுது
புயல்களைவிடவும் மரங்களை உடைக்கும் காற்றுக்களை விடவும் அதிக வன்முறையுடன்
வெளியே நடந்து செல்லும்  வியக்கத் தகும் மனிதன் யார்?
அவன் அடியெடுத்து வைக்கிறான் அந்த கட்டுக்கடங்காத இயக்கங்களில்
அவனுடைய உயர்ந்த பச்சை நிற தொப்பியை கையில் பிடித்தபடி,
அவனது தளர்வான அங்கியைக் காற்று படபடக்கச் செய்கிறது
மேலும் அவனது இடைஞ்சலான ஃபிராக் கோட்டின் மார்ப்புப் புற மடிப்புகளையும்.


யாரிடம் நாம் உணர்ச்சிப்பாடுகளின் கோப்பையிலிருந்து அதிகமாகக் குடிக்க முடியும், தீர அதன் கடைசிச் சொட்டு வரை?
யார்தான் அதிக ஆர்வத்துடன் பிழம்புகளை ஒளிவிடச் செய்ய முடியும்?
கூடுதலான தீவிரத்துடன் சுதந்திரத்திற்கு புனிதமளிக்க முடியும்?
என்ன மனிதன் அவன், எந்த ஃபிளெமிஷ் பிரதேசத்து விவசாயியின் மகன் அவன்
உலகோர் அனைவரையும் நடனத்தில் பங்கு கொள்ள வரவழைத்தது
சகல குடிகார வன்முறையையும் வெளியே எடுக்கும் வரையில்
குரல்களுக்கிடையில் மீண்டும் மீண்டும் தலையெடுக்கும் கருவிக்கான இசை முடிந்ததென்று சொல்லாதிருந்தது எவர்?



ஓ டயோனிஸிஸ்! ஏமாற்றே இல்லாத ஒரு மனிதன் போல
ஒரு குழந்தையால் இருக்க முடியும் அளவுக்கு நன்றியால்  நிறைந்து.
சில சமயம் கடுங்கோபத்தில், சில சமயம் ஒரு புன்னகையுடன்,
உனது வியப்படையச் செய்யும் தலை விதியைப் பொறுத்துக் கொண்டு.
எவ்வளவு கோபமான தற்பெருமையை நீ அடக்கி வைத்தாய்
அரசகுமாரப் புரவலர்களிடமிருந்து உனக்கான உதவிகளைப் பெறுகையில்,
அல்லது ஒரு மறதியான அரசவைத்தன்மையுடன்

நீ சென்றாய் அன்றைய நாளின் பியானோப் பாடங்களைச் சொல்லித் தர.


ஒரு பிக்குவின் சிறிய அறைதான் நீ இருப்பதற்குப் பொருத்தமானது–
அங்கே பிரபஞ்ச ஆனந்தம் உறைகிறது.
உனக்கு, அவற்றின் முன்கூட்டி உரைக்கும் மகிழ்கிளர்ச்சியுடன்
நெருப்பை வழிபடுபவர்கள் பாடுகிறார்கள்.
மனித இனத்துக்குள்ளாக ஒரு பராக்கிரம தீப்பிழம்பு,
எவரும் என்றுமே அதை அடக்கி வைத்துவிட முடியாது.
புராதன கிரேக்கர்கள் உன் பெயரை அழைக்கப் பயந்தனர்

ஓ! கருணையில்லாத கடவுளே, ஆனால் அவர்கள் யாவரும் உனக்கு மரியாதை செய்தனர்.
கம்பீரமான தியாகத்தின் தீப் பிழம்பே!
பாதி வானம் வரை தீ பரவுகிறது–
கந்தல்களாகப் பிய்க்கப்பட்ட பட்டான கூடார முகட்டுத் திரை
புனித ஆலயம் நம் தலைகளுக்கு மேலாக சிதைக்கப்படுகிறது.
தீப்பிழம்புகளின் ஒரு திறந்த வெளியில்
அங்கே நமக்கு பார்ப்பதற்கு எதுவுமே இல்லை–
நீ அரியாசன அறையில் இருந்தாய், மேலும் வெளிப்படுத்தினாய்
ஒளிவிடும் புகழின் வெற்றியை.



கவிதை எண்.49


ஒரு விடுதியில் திருடர் கும்பல் ஒன்று
விடியும் வரை தாயம் ஆடிக் ஆடிக்கொண்டிருந்தது.
உபசரிக்கும் பெண் ஒரு ஆம்லெட்டினைக் கொணர்ந்தாள்
கிறித்தவப் பிக்குகள் மது அருந்திக் கொண்டிருந்தனர்.


கார்காயில்*கள் கோபுரத்தின் மீதாக விவாதித்துக் கொண்டிருந்தன.
அவற்றில் எது அதிகம் பீதியூட்டுவதாய் இருக்கிறது?
காலையில் ஒரு மடமையான பிரச்சாரகன்
தனது அரங்கிற்கு வரும்படி ஜனங்களுக்கு அழைப்பு விடுத்தான்.


சதுக்கத்தில் நாய்கள் விளையாடிக் கொண்டிருந்தன,
நாணயம் மாற்றும் கருவியை இயக்கும் சாவியின் கிளிக் சத்தம்.
நித்தியத்துவம் சகலராலும் சூறையாடப்படுகிறது
ஆனால் நித்தியத்துமோ கடலில் இருந்து வந்த மணல் போலிருக்கிறது.


*ஐரோப்பியகட்டிடக்கலையில், மழைநீர் ஒழுகுவதற்கான, கற்பனையான பயங்கர மிருக முகங்கள் போன்ற அமைப்புகள்.

தமிழ்நாட்டுக் கோயில்களின் யாளிகளுக்கு ஒப்பானவை.



பாரவண்டியின் பின்முனையில் சிந்திக்கொண்டு–

மூட்டைகளை மூடுவதற்கு மிகக் குறைவான பாய்களே உள்ளன.

ஒரு கிறித்தவ பிக்கு தான் எவ்வளவு மோசமான முறையில் முந்திய இரவு தங்க வேண்டி வந்ததென்ற அவதூறான கதையைச் சொல்கிறான்.



கவிதை எண்.5


மென்மையைக்  விடக் கூடுதலான மென்மை
உனது முகம்,
தூய்மையை விடத் தூய்மையானதாக
உனது கரம்.
உன்னால் இயன்ற வரை இந்த உலகிலிருந்து
தொலைவாக வாழ்ந்து கொண்டு
மேலும் உன் தொடர்பான யாவுமே
எப்படி இருக்க வேண்டுமோ அப்படி.


இதுவெல்லாம் இப்படி இருக்க வேண்டும்.
உனது துயரம்
மேலும் உனது ஸ்பரிசம்
என்றுமே குளிர்ந்து விடாது,
மேலும் அந்த அரவமற்ற பிடிப்பு
நீ சொல்லும் விஷயங்களில்
புகார் இன்றி சொல்வது,

மேலும் உனது கண்கள்
தொலை தூரத்தில் பார்த்துக் கொண்டு.


கவிதை எண்.320


நான் திருப்பித் தர விரும்புகிறேன் கடன் பெற்ற இந்தப் புழுதியை
ஒரு வெண்ணிற பட்டாம்பூச்சியின் மென்துகள் போலல்ல அது.
இந்த முதுகெலும்புடையது, தன் நீளத்தை ஒரு காலத்தில்
அறிந்திருந்த எரிக்கப்பட்ட, இந்த சிந்திக்கும் உடல்
எல்லோருக்குமான பொது சாலையாக,
ஒரு தேசமாக மாற்றப்பட வேண்டும் என
நான் விரும்புகிறேன்.


கருத்த ஊசியிலைகள் அலறுகின்றன.
கிணறுகள் போல ஆழமாக தழை வளையங்கள்
சிவப்புக்கொடி ஊசிகளின் வளையங்கள்
மரணத்தின் லேத்துகளின் மேல் சாய்ந்திருக்கின்றன,
ஆங்கில அரிச்சுவடியின் “ஓ” க்கள்,
ஒரு சமயம் விரும்பப்பட்ட காலத்தை, ஒரு வாழ்க்கையை
நீட்சிப்படுத்துகின்றன.


சமீத்தில் படையில் சேர்க்ப்பட்டவர்கள்
கெட்டித்துப் போன வானத்தின் கீழ் ஆணைகளை நிறைவேற்றிக் கொண்டிருந்தனர்.
தரைப்படை கடந்து சென்றது, அவர்களின் ரைஃபில்களுக்கு கீழ்ப்புறத்தில்–
ஏராளமான மௌனமான வியப்புக் குறிகள்.


நீலநிறக் கண்கள், பழுப்பு நிறக் கண்கள்,
காற்றில் இலக்கு வைக்கப்பட்ட ஆயிரக்கணக்கான துப்பாக்கிகள்,
குழப்பத்தில்–மனிதர்கள், மனிதர்கள், மனிதர்கள்–
யார் வருவார் இவர்களுக்கு அடுத்து?



கவிதை எண் 40*1

நம்மால் தாங்கிக் கொள்ள முடியாது தர்மசங்டமான நிசப்தத்தின் அழுத்தத்தை–
என்றாலும்  ஒரு ஆன்மா  நலமில்லாதிருப்பது  நம்மை வருத்துகிறது.
மேலும் அந்தப் பொதுவான குழப்பத்தில்,
ஒரு மனிதன் வெளியில் வருகிறான் கவிதை சொல்ல.

அவர்கள் அவனை வரவேற்றனர் சந்தோஷமான கூச்சலுடன்: “ஆரம்பி”
கண்ணுக்குப் புலனாகா மனிதன் அங்கே நின்று கொண்டிருந்தான்–அவனை நான் அறிவேன்.
பீதி இரவின் மனிதன் ஒருவன் வாசித்துக் கொண்டிருந்தான் உளாலுமே*2

அர்த்தம் தற்பெருமையானது சொற்கள் வெறும் ஒலிகள்
பேச்சொலியியலோ தேவதைகளின் கைப்பாவை.


எட்கர் ஆலன் போ அவனது யாழினை வாசித்து உஷரின் வீடு*3 பற்றிப் பாடினான்,
பைத்தியக்காரன் தண்ணீர் பருகினான், தன்னிலை அடைந்தான், நின்றான் ஊமையாக.
நான் வெளியே அந்தத் தெருவில் இருந்தேன். இலையுதிர்காலத்தின் பட்டுப் போன்ற விசில்–
எனது கழுத்தைச் சுற்றி கதகதப்பாக, ஒரு சில்க் கைக்குட்டையின் குறுகுறுப்பு. . .



*1.பீட்டர்ஸ்பர்கில்ஒருமாலைநேரத்தைப்பற்றியஇந்தக்கவிதை
Vladimir Pyast என்கிறரஷ்யக்கவிஞன், எட்கர்ஆலன்போவின் உளாலுமேக விதையை வாசித்தபடி பைத்தியமானதைச் சொல்கிறது. இதேகவிதையைW.S.Merwin & Clarence Brown(Osip Mandelstam:Selected Poems,1977)  ஆகியோர் வேறு மாதிரி பாடபேதத்துடன் மொழிபெயர்த்திருக்கிறார்கள். எனினும் 1991இல்வெளிவந்தRobert Tracy (Osip Mandelstam:Stone) யின் மொழிபெயர்ப்பேமு ழுமையானதாயும்சி றந்ததாயும்தெரிகிறது.

*2.அமெரிக்க புனைகதைஎழுத்தாளரும் கவிஞருமான எட்கர்ஆலன்போவின் கவிதைத்தலைப்பு (Ulalume(1847).

*3.எட்கர் ஆலன் போவின் ஒருகதையின்தலைப்பு. The Fall of the House of Usher (1840)



கடல் புக்ஸ்
Yesterday at 11:53am ·



Two poems of Osipmandelstam in Tamil translation

கவிதை எண் 24*.

தெளிவற்ற இலைகளின் ஒரு விதைப்புடன்
கருத்த காற்று சலசலத்துக் கடந்து செல்கிறது.
துடித்தொளிரும் ஊர்க்குருவி இருண்ட வானத்தின்
பின்னணியில் ஒரு வட்டத்தை வரைகிறது.


மென்மையாய்ச் சாகும் என் இதயத்தில்
நெருங்கி வரும் அந்தி மயக்கத்திற்கும்
முடிவுறும் பகல் வெளிச்சத்திற்குமிடையே
ஒரு மௌனமான விவாதம்

மேலே ஒரு தாமிர நிலா.
இரவால் இருளால் நிரப்பப்பட்ட காடுகள்.
ஏன் அவ்வளவு குறைவான சங்கீதமே இருக்கிறது?
மேலும் ஏன் அவ்வளவு நிச்சலனம்?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*இதே கவிதையை W.S.Merwin & Clarence Brown (Osip Mandelstam:Selected Poems,1977) ஆகியோர் பாடபேதத்துடன் மொழிபெயர்த்திருக்கிறார்கள். இருப்பினும் Robert Tracy யின் மொழிபெயர்ப்பே சிறந்ததாகத் தெரிகிறது.
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கவிதை எண் 66*.

பூ மலரும் நகரங்களின் பெயர்கள்
காதுகளை வருடட்டும் அவற்றின் குறுகிய காலத்துப் பெருமையுடன்.
நூற்றாண்டுகளின் ஊடாக வாழ்ந்திருப்பது ரோம் நகரமல்ல
ஆனால் பிரபஞ்ச அமைப்பில் மனிதனின் இடம்.

மன்னர்கள் கைப்பற்றப் பார்க்கின்றனர் அதை, பாதிரியார்கள் பயன்படுத்தமுயல்கின்றனர் அதை,
ஒரு போரை நியாயப்படுத்த வேண்டிய போது
அது இல்லாமல் போகையில்,
வீடுகளும் பலிபீடங்களும்
வெறுப்புக்கு உகந்தவையாயிருக்கின்றன
ஒரு மோசமான குப்பைக் குவியலைப் போல,
அதற்கு மேல் ஒன்றுமேயில்லை.
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*Robert Tracyயின் மொழிபெயர்ப்பு.

Translation copyright Brammarajan






குழந்தைகளின் புத்தகங்களை மட்டுமே வாசிக்க,


சிறுபிள்ளைத்தனமான சிந்தனைகளை பொக்கிஷமாக சேமித்துக் கொள்ளுங்கள்,


வளர்ந்தவர்களுக்கானதை வீசி எறியுங்கள் ,


ஆழ்ந்த சோகத்திலிருந்து மீண்டெழுங்கள்.


வாழ்வின் இறத்தலுக்கு நான் களைத்து விட்டேன்,


அது தரும் எதையும் நான் ஏற்கப் போவதில்லை,


ஆனால், நான் எனது ஏழ்மை பூமியை நேசிக்கிறேன்,


ஏனெனில், அந்த ஒன்றைமட்டுமே நான் பார்த்திருக்கிறேன்.


தொலைதூர தோட்டத்தில் ஊஞ்சலாடி இருக்கிறேன்,










வார்த்தைகள் தேவையற்றது.


அதனில் கற்றறிய ஒன்றுமில்லை:


எத்தனை சோகம்,


விலங்கின் இருண்ட இதயம் பின்பற்றத்தக்கவை !










அறிவுறுத்த


அதற்கு எந்த உந்துதலுமில்லை


உலகின் சாமபல் வளைகுடாவின் நெடுகிலும்


வார்த்தைகளுக்கு எவ்வித உபயோகமுமில்லை...






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)









நள்ளிரவுப் பட்சிகளிண் குரலைப் போன்றது....,






செவிப்பறைகள் தங்களது நுட்பமான புறப்படலை நீட்டிக்கின்றன,


விசாலமடையும் பார்த்தல் வெறுமையுறுகிறது,


நள்ளிரவு பட்சிகளின் பாடப்படாத சேர்ந்திசை


மெளனத்தினூடாக நீந்துகிறது.










நான் இயற்கைக்கு ஈடான ஏழ்மையுடையவன்,


வானத்தைப் போன்ற நிர்வானம் என்னுடையது


எனது சுதந்திரம் பேய்மையானது,


நள்ளிரவுப் பட்சிகளின் குரலைப் போன்றது.






சுவாசிக்காத நிலாவை காண்கிறேன்,


வானம் துணி விரிப்பைக் காட்டிலும் அதி-வெண்மையாயிருக்கிறது,


உனது விசித்திரமான மற்றும் பிணியுற்ற உலகு.






வெறுமையை, நான் வரவேற்கிறேன்.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)













வார்த்தைகளின் எல்லையைக் கடந்த சோகம்,


மிகப்பெரிய இரு விழிகளை திறந்தது.


ஒரு பூ பாண்டம் நிறைய மலர்கள் விழித்தன,


அதன் பளிங்கு வாரியிரைத்தலைச் செய்தது.










அறை முழுவதும் மெல்லிய சோர்வும் தளர்ச்சியும் நிரம்பி வழிந்தது,


-அந்த இனிய மருந்து!


எத்தனைச் சிறிய ராஜ்ஜியம்.


அபரிதமான் உறக்கத்தை விழுங்க,






கொஞ்சமாய் சிவப்பு வைன்,


கொஞ்சமாய் மே மாத கதிரொளி


மற்றும் நெப்பமான வெண்மை விரல்கள்


மெலிந்த பஞ்சு கேக்கை உடைக்கிறது.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)

























கவனமாக முணுமுணுத்த சப்தம்


மரத்திலிருந்து உடைந்து வீழும் கனி


தொடரிசையின் இடையே


ஆழ்வனத்தின் மெளனத்திற்கிடையே...










-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)





















யாரொருவள் இன்னும் ஜனிக்கவில்லையோ அவள்


வார்த்தையும்- இசையுமாய் இருக்கிறாள்,


அழிந்தொழியாத தொடர்பு ஒன்று


வாழும் அனைத்திற்கும் இடையே உள்ளது.










கடலின் மார்பு அமைதியாய் சுவாசிக்கிறது,


ஆனால் பித்த நாள் பிரகாசிக்கிறது


நுரையின் வெண்மைபூத்த லில்லாக்


அதன் கலங்கலான நீலக் கிண்ணத்தில் இருக்கிறது.






எனது இதழ்கள் ஆதி பேச்சின்மையினையை


தெள்ளத் தெளிவான ஒலியின் தூய்மையை


அடையக் கூடும் ,






பிறந்தது முதற்கொண்டே மாசற்றிருக்கிறேன்.






நுரையே இரு, ,கலவியின் கடவுளே


மற்றும்;


வார்த்தை- இசைக்குள் திரும்புகிறது;


வாழ்வின் மைய இழையோடு இயைகிறது,


இதயம் ; இதயத்தை எண்ணி வெட்கமுறுகிறது.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)

















குழந்தைகளின் புத்தகங்களை மட்டுமே வாசிக்க,


சிறுபிள்ளைத்தனமான சிந்தனைகளை பொக்கிஷமாக சேமித்துக் கொள்ளுங்கள்,


வளர்ந்தவர்களுக்கானதை வீசி எறியுங்கள் ,


ஆழ்ந்த சோகத்திலிருந்து மீண்டெழுங்கள்.










வாழ்வின் இறத்தலுக்கு நான் களைத்து விட்டேன்,


அது தரும் எதையும் நான் ஏற்கப் போவதில்லை,


ஆனால், நான் எனது ஏழ்மை பூமியை நேசிக்கிறேன்,


ஏனெனில், அந்த ஒன்றைமட்டுமே நான் பார்த்திருக்கிறேன்.






தொலைதூர தோட்டத்தில் ஊஞ்சலாடி இருக்கிறேன்,


ஒரு மிகச்சாதாரணமான மர ஊஞ்சலில்,


இருண்ட நெடிய பிர் மரங்களை நான் நினைவுகொள்கிறேன்,


பனியார்ந்த காய்ச்சலில்.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)





















வேடர்கள் உன்னை சிக்க வைத்து விட்டார்கள்:


கலைமானே,வனங்கள் துயருறக் கூடும்!






எனது கறுப்பு மேல்கோட்டை நீ எடுத்துக் கொள்ளலாம்,


ஆனால்


எனது வாழ்தலின் ஆற்றலை மட்டும் பதப்படுத்தி வை!










-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)





















நாம் தீர்க்கதரிசகளோ அல்லது முன்னோடிகளோ அல்ல..........






நான் இயல்பாய் நடந்து சொன்றபோது மரண யாத்திரையைக் கண்டேன்,


லூதரன் தேவாலயத்தின் அருகே கடந்த ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை,


கவனக்குறைவான வழிப்போக்கன்,பார்க்க சற்றே நின்றேன்,


அங்கிருந்த கூட்டத்தின் முகங்களில் தீவர வேதனை .










அவர்கள் பேசிய மொழி எதுவென என்னால் அறிந்து கொள்ள முடியவில்லை,


பித்தளையைத் தவிர வேறெதுவும் பிரகாசிக்கவில்லை,


சோம்பலான குதிரையின் குளம்படியில் பிரதிபலிப்பு மட்டுமே,


குரலோசையற்ற ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை பக்கவாட்டுச் சாலையில்.






வண்டி விளக்கின் அரையொளியின் நெகிழ்தலில்


அங்கு சோகம், பொய்வேடமிட்டவன் கல்லறையில் கிடத்தப்பட்டிருக்கிறான்,


வார்த்தைகளற்ற மற்றும் கண்ணீரற்ற எச்சரிக்கையான வாழ்த்துகள்,


இலையுதிர்கால துளையிலிருந்து ரோஜாக்கள் பளிச்சிடுகிறது,






அந்நியர்கள் கறுப்பு ரிப்பனில் நீட்டிக்கப் பட்டுள்ளனர்,


அழும் பெண்கள் கால்நடையாகச் சென்றனர்,


சிவந்த முகங்கள் முக்காடிடப்பட்டிருக்கிறது, அப்படியே அவர்களுக்கு அப்பால்,


பிடிவாதமான வண்டிக்காரர்களை எதுவும் தடுத்து நிறுத்தவில்லை .






நீங்கள் யாராக இருப்பினும், இறந்த லூதரனோ,


அவர்கள் உன்னை எளிமையாக ,கலை நேர்த்தியின்றி புதைத்தார்கள்,


கண்ணீரின் வீழ்தலில் விழிகள் மங்கத் துவங்கின,


கண்ணியமான நிதானத்துடன் மணிகள் ஒலித்தன,.






நான் யோசிக்கிறேன்,- உரைகள் நிகழத்தத் தேவையில்லை,


நாம் தீர்க்கதரிசகளோ அல்லது முன்னோடிகளோ அல்ல,


நாம் சொர்க்கத்தை எண்ணி மகிழ்வதுமில்லை, நரகத்தைக் குறித்து அச்சமடைவதுமில்லை,


மந்தமான மதியத்தில் நாம் மெழுவர்த்தியாய் எரிகிறோம்.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)

























எனது நாடு என்னுடன் உரையாடியது ,


என்னை கெடுத்தது,திட்டியது, செவிசாய்க்கவில்லை,


அவள் என்னை மட்டுமே கவனித்துக் கொண்டிருந்தாள்,


நான் வளர்ந்தபோது, நான் சாட்சியாமானேன்,


பிறகு சட்டென்று, ஒரு லென்ஸைபோல் ,


என்னை அவள் தீயினுள் தகிக்கச் செய்தாள்,


கடற்படை லென்ஸிலிருந்து எழும் கதிரின் ஊடாக.










-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்

























உயர்ந்திருக்கும் சிரத்தில் சிறகுகளுக்கான குறிப்பேதுமில்லை


ஆனால் மேல்கோட் சிறகடித்துப் படபடக்கிறது


இமை மூடிய விழிகளில்,அமைதியிருக்க


கைகள் ஆற்றலின் தூய உறைவிடம்,










இங்கேயொரு உயிரனம் இருக்கிறது, பறக்கவும் பாடவும் ,


வார்த்தை இணக்கமுறவும் கனன்றும்,


கருமுதலாய் இருந்த மனக்குழப்பத்திலிருந்து மீண்டெழலாம்,


உடன் பிறந்த அகச் சந்தத்தினால்.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)













திட்டமிடப்பட்ட மகிழ்விற்கு நான் சாதகமாக இருந்ததில்லை,


சில சமயங்களில் இயற்கை சாம்பல் நிறமாக கறையுற்றிருக்கிறது,


நான் தண்டிக்கப்பட்டிருக்கிறேன், லேசாக போதையுற்றிருக்கிறேன்,


வறிய நிலையின் வண்ணங்களை சுவைத்து பார்க்க.










காற்று அலங்கோலமான மேகங்களுடன் விளையாடுகிறது,


நங்கூரம் கடலின் தரைப்பகுதியைச் சுரண்டுகிறது ,


என் மனம், நார் ஆடையைப் போல் ஜீவனற்றுள்ளது,


இன்மையின் மீது தொங்கிக் கொண்டிருக்கிறது.






ஆனால் குன்றுகளிலுள்ள காசினோக்களை நான் விரும்புகிறேன்,


பனி அடர்ந்த சாளரத்திலிருந்து அகன்ற காட்சி புலனாகிறது,


கசங்கிய மேசைத் துணியின் மேல் மெல்லிய ஓளி ரேகை,


பச்சைய நீர் எங்கும் சூழ்ந்திருக்கிறது,


எப்போதும், ஒரு ரோஜாவைப் போல், வைன் தனது கின்னத்தில்,


நான் கடற்பறவையின் சிறகுகளை பின் தொடர விரும்புகிறேன்.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)





















என்னுடைய உடலை நான் என்ன செய்வது


இது எனக்கு அளிக்கப்பட்டது,


அத்தனை அபரிதமாய் என்னுடன் ஒன்றாயிருக்க ,


அத்தனையும் என்னுடையதாய் எனதாக?










அமைதியான மகிழ்வில் சுவாசிக்கவும்,


உயிருடன் ஜீவித்திருக்க ஏதுவாய் ,


சொல்லுங்கள்,


நான் யாருக்கு நன்றி பாராட்டு கடமைப்பட்டவன் ?






நான் ஒரு தோட்டக்காரன், மலரும்கூட,


இந்த உலகின் நிலவறையில்.


நான் தனிமையுற்று இல்லை.






எனது வெதுவெதுப்பின் வெம்மை ,


எனது பெருமகிழ்வு ,


ஒருவரால் ஏற்கனவே உணர்ந்திருக்க முடியும்,


நித்தியத்தின் ஜன்னல் சாளரத்தின் மேல்.


எனது சுவாத்தின்மீது அச்சிடப்பட்ட மாதிரி படிவங்கள்


இதற்கு முன்பு காட்சிப்பட்டதில்லை.






கணங்களின் உறைதல் தடமற்று மறையட்டும்


மகிழ்வுடன் பேணப்பட்ட் மாதிரிப் படிவஙகளை


யாராலும் துடைத்தழிக்க இயலாது.






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)





















எத்தனை மெதுவாக இந்த குதிரைகள் நகர்கின்றன,


விளக்குகள் எறியும் ஒளி எத்தனை கறுமையாக உள்ளது,


அவர்கள் எங்கு என்னிடம் பேசுகிறார்களோ .


இந்த அந்நியர்களுக்கு நன்றாகத் தெரியும்,










நான் குளிர்ந்திருக்கிறேன்,நான் உறங்கப் போகிறேன்,


அவர்களது அக்கறைகள் குறித்து மனதிடத்துடன் இருக்கிறேன்,


திடிரென்று ,நட்சத்திர ஒளியை நோக்கி ,


ஒரு திருப்பத்தில் தூக்கி எரியப்பட்டேன்.






ஜுரம் கண்டவனின் தலையசைப்பு,


அக்கறை கொண்ட , ஒரு அந்நியனின் குளிர்ந்த கைகள்,


இன்னும் எனக்கு தென்படவில்லை,


இருண்ட பிர் மரத்தின் உருவ விளிம்பு .






-Osip Mandelstam-


(தமிழாக்கம் :எஸ்.சண்முகம்)









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‘Not crediting the miracle of re-birth,’












For Marina Tsvetayeva






Not crediting the miracle of re-birth,


we strolled through the cemetery.


– You know, everywhere the earth


still recalls those hills to me,


……………………………………..


……………………………………..


where Russia halts abruptly


above a black, and empty sea.






The wide fields sloping down


from monastic hillsides, sheer.


I’d no wish to travel south


from spacious Vladimir,


but to stay in that shadowy


village, filled with god’s fools,


with a veiled and misty


nun – spelt disaster, too.






I kiss your sunburnt elbow


and then a wax-like show


of brow, still pale below


a strand of shadowy gold.


I kiss the bracelet’s circle


of white left on your wrist:


ardent summers’ miracles


are worked thus in Tauris.






How soon you ran, darkening,


to the Saviour’s meagre icon,


and couldn’t be torn from kissing:


yet in Moscow, ever the proud one!


And for us, just a name remains –


miraculous sound for years to come.


Take from me, these grains,


of sand, I pour from my palm.






Note: Tauris: the Crimea. Sand: poetry,


memories, time.














‘The stream of golden honey pouring viscous,’






The stream of golden honey poured, so viscous,


slow from the bottle, our hostess had time to murmur:


‘Here, in sad Tauris, where fate has brought us,


we shan’t be too bored’ – glancing over her shoulder.






Everywhere the Bacchic rite, as if all were merely


dogs and watchmen – go, and you’ll see nothing –


the days like heavy barrels rolling by quietly:


far off, hut-bound voices – no response or meaning.






After tea we entered the huge brown garden,


dark blinds lowered like eyelids over windows,


past white columns to inspect the grapes then


glassy air sluicing the sleepy mountain slopes.






I said: ‘The vines live on here in ancient wars,


and curly-haired horsemen fight in leafy rows,


the science of Hellas in stony Tauris – these are


the noble golden acres, the rusty furrows.’






Well, like a spinning wheel, silence in the white room,


smelling of vinegar, paint, new wine in the cellar.


Remember the wife loved by all, in the Greek home,


how long she spent weaving? – Not Helen – that other.






Golden Fleece, where are you Golden Fleece?


The journey: a roar of ocean’s heavy waves.


Leaving his ship, its canvas worn by the seas,


Odysseus returned, filled with time and space.






Note: The Argonauts sailed into


the Black Sea to seek the Golden Fleece.


Mandelstam weaves in the wandering Odysseus


returning to Penelope, and the Crimean worship


of Bacchus/Dionysus (as witnessed by the


Maenads’ murder of Orpheus).














‘Still far away are Spring’s’






Still far away are Spring’s


transparent-grey asphodels.


For a while waves seething,


sand rustling to itself.


But like Persephone my spirit


enters insubstantial circles:


sweet sunburnt arms don’t fit


in the kingdom of lost mortals.






Why do we trust the weight


of a funeral urn to some vessel,


on amethyst water celebrate


a black rose festival?


My spirit aspires there


beyond Meganom’s misty cape:


and after the burial, from there


will come – a sail’s dark shape!






How swift the storm clouds flow


in their shadowy column,


where black rose-flakes blow


beneath a wind-tossed moon.


Bird of death and mourning,


Memory, trails its huge


funereal flag, veiling


the stern of cypress-wood.










And rustlings unfold


the bygone years’ sad fan,


where an amulet was darkly closed,


with a shudder, in the sand.


My spirit aspires there


beyond Meganom’s misty cape:


and after the burial, from there


will come – a sail’s dark shape!






Note: Cape Meganom, in the Crimea,juts into the Black Sea. Mandelstam


weaves in an element from the myth of


Theseus, who displayed a black sail in


error as he returned to Athens, causing


his father to leap to his death. Persephone


is the goddess of the underworld.


The amulet is buried love, poetry, memory,


as are the rose-flakes of his mother’s funeral.There may also be a reference here to


an amulet with a Hebrew inscription given


to Pushkin, who was exiled to the Crimea like Ovid.


See Pushkin’s poem ‘The Talisman’.





To -- -- --. Ulalume: A Ballad

BY EDGAR ALLAN POE





The skies they were ashen and sober;


The leaves they were crispéd and sere—


The leaves they were withering and sere;


It was night in the lonesome October


Of my most immemorial year;


It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,


In the misty mid region of Weir—


It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,


In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.






Here once, through an alley Titanic,


Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul—


Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.


These were days when my heart was volcanic


As the scoriac rivers that roll—


As the lavas that restlessly roll


Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek


In the ultimate climes of the pole—


That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek


In the realms of the boreal pole.






Our talk had been serious and sober,


But our thoughts they were palsied and sere—


Our memories were treacherous and sere—


For we knew not the month was October,


And we marked not the night of the year—


(Ah, night of all nights in the year!)


We noted not the dim lake of Auber—


(Though once we had journeyed down here)—


We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,


Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.






And now, as the night was senescent


And star-dials pointed to morn—


As the star-dials hinted of morn—


At the end of our path a liquescent


And nebulous lustre was born,


Out of which a miraculous crescent


Arose with a duplicate horn—


Astarte's bediamonded crescent


Distinct with its duplicate horn.






And I said—"She is warmer than Dian:


She rolls through an ether of sighs—


She revels in a region of sighs:


She has seen that the tears are not dry on


These cheeks, where the worm never dies,


And has come past the stars of the Lion


To point us the path to the skies—


To the Lethean peace of the skies—


Come up, in despite of the Lion,


To shine on us with her bright eyes—


Come up through the lair of the Lion,


With love in her luminous eyes."






But Psyche, uplifting her finger,


Said—"Sadly this star I mistrust—


Her pallor I strangely mistrust:—


Oh, hasten! oh, let us not linger!


Oh, fly!—let us fly!—for we must."


In terror she spoke, letting sink her


Wings till they trailed in the dust—


In agony sobbed, letting sink her


Plumes till they trailed in the dust—


Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.






I replied—"This is nothing but dreaming:


Let us on by this tremulous light!


Let us bathe in this crystalline light!


Its Sybilic splendor is beaming


With Hope and in Beauty to-night:—


See!—it flickers up the sky through the night!


Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,


And be sure it will lead us aright—


We safely may trust to a gleaming


That cannot but guide us aright,


Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night."






Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,


And tempted her out of her gloom—


And conquered her scruples and gloom:


And we passed to the end of the vista,


But were stopped by the door of a tomb—


By the door of a legended tomb;


And I said—"What is written, sweet sister,


On the door of this legended tomb?"


She replied—"Ulalume—Ulalume—


'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!"






Then my heart it grew ashen and sober


As the leaves that were crispèd and sere—


As the leaves that were withering and sere,


And I cried—"It was surely October


On this very night of last year


That I journeyed—I journeyed down here—


That I brought a dread burden down here—


On this night of all nights in the year,


Oh, what demon has tempted me here?


Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber—


This misty mid region of Weir—


Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber—


In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir."






Said we, then—the two, then—"Ah, can it


Have been that the woodlandish ghouls—


The pitiful, the merciful ghouls—


To bar up our way and to ban it


From the secret that lies in these wolds—


From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds—


Had drawn up the spectre of a planet


From the limbo of lunary souls—


This sinfully scintillant planet


From the Hell of the planetary souls?

••••














Stamping on the tender meadow, I leapt



Stamping on the tender meadow, I leapt
into the choir of shadows, with a melody


of a name: the thin mist of sound still left


melting, at that moment, into memory.



At first I thought the name was – Seraph,


and I fought shy of such a weightless body:


Yet merged with it, when a few days had passed,


dissolving into that dear shadow, readily.



Again wild fruit falls from the apple tree,


and before me a secret image glows,


and curses itself, and blasphemes,


and swallows jealousy’s hot coals.



But happiness rolls by, a golden hoop,


performing someone else’s bidding,


and you chase the Spring’s mildness, too,


air the palm of your hand goes cutting.



And we don’t leave, it’s so arranged,


these spell-bound circles.


They lie there, tightly swaddled,


Earth’s vibrant virginal hills.











‘We shall meet again in Petersburg,’




We shall meet again in Petersburg,

as though there we’d buried the sun,

and for the first time, speak the word

the sacred, the meaningless one.

In black velvet of the Soviet night,

in the velvet of earth’s emptiness,

flowers still flower everlasting, bright,

women sing, beloved eyes are blessed.




The city is arched there like a lynx,

the bridge-patrol stands its ground,

an angry motor dissects the mist

crying out with a cuckoo’s sound.

I don’t need a pass for tonight,

I have no fear of the guard:

I’ll pray in the Soviet night.

for the sacred meaningless word.




Amid the theatre’s soft rustling

I hear a girl’s startled: ‘Ah!’ –

and Cypris holds everlasting

roses, clasped in her soft arms.

Bored, by a fire we warm ourselves,

perhaps the centuries will pass,

and beloved hands, women’s, blessed,

will gather up the weightless ash.







Somewhere sweet Orphean choirs sound,

dark the beloved pupils of their eyes,

and programmes, fluttering to the ground,

fall towards the stalls, like doves in flight.

You might as well blow out our candles then:

in the black velvet of earth’s emptiness

women’s shoulders, rounded, blessed, still sing,

but the night sun will not shine here, a guest.




Note: Cypris is probably a reference to Venus the goddess of Love, named Cypris after her island of Cyprus, who appears in Massenet’s 1906 opera, Ariane (Ariadne), which involves the story of Theseus, Phaedra, and Ariadne who goes to Persephone’s realm to beg for Phaedra’s life. All these are potent motifs for Mandelstam. The black sun also refers to Pushkin’s burial by night, he representing the buried, suppressed and silent word of the exile, representing pure Russia. Orpheus was the legendary poet, Orphean implies both melodious like his singing, and secret, arcane, like the Orphic rites.







‘In the yard, I was washing, at night – ’




In the yard, I was washing, at night –

Harsh stars were fiercely shining.

Like salt on an axe, rays of starlight,

the rain-barrel freezing, brimming.




The gates are shut with a padlock,

and earth’s bleak, in all conscience –

you’d scarce find anything more basic,

more pure, than truth’s clean canvas.




the cold water grows blacker,

like salt, a star melts in the barrel,

death grows purer, trouble saltier,

earth more truthful, more terrible.










‘Exhaustion’s rosy foam on his fleshy lips,’




Exhaustion’s rosy foam on his fleshy lips,

the bull paws furiously at the green breakers:

he snorts: no oarsman – a sensualist,

his spine unused to burdens, hard labour.




Now and then, a dolphin leaps in an arc,

and a prickly sea-urchin comes into view,

tender Europa, hold him, forever, in your arms –

what yoke could be more desirable, too?




Bitterly she witnesses that mighty splashing,

the swollen sea around seethes in the deep,

terrified by the water’s oily gleaming,

she’d like to slip down from that hairy steep.




Oh, it’s the creak of rowlocks she’d prefer,

the lap of a wide deck, a flock of sheep,

and flickering fish beyond a tall stern –

but the oar-less oarsman swims further out to sea!







Self-Portrait




A hint of wing in the lifted

head. But the coat’s flapping.

In the closed eyes, arms’ quiet,

there’s nervous energy hiding.




Here’s one who flies and sings,

and the word, in flames, hammered,

until congenital awkwardness,

by inborn rhythm’s conquered.













‘I was only bound childishly to the world of power,’




I was only bound childishly to the world of power,

I dreaded oysters, viewed guardsmen with suspicion –

and don’t owe a particle of my spirit to it, either,

however much I hurt myself trying to be someone.




I never stood under a bank’s Egyptian portico,

frowning with dumb importance, in a beaver mitre,

never, for me, to the crackle of hundred rouble notes,

did a gipsy girl dance, by the lemon-coloured Neva.




Sensing future executions, I fled from the roar

of revolutionary events, to the Black Sea nymphs,

ah, with the beauties of those times – those tender

European ladies – the confusion, stress, grief I glimpsed!




But why does the city, to this day, still retain

its ancient rights over my thoughts and feelings?

Its insolence, with fire and frost, has grown again:

self-satisfied, condemned, frivolous, un-ageing!




Perhaps I saw in some picture book, in the nursery,

Lady Godiva, with a mane of straggling ginger,

so I still go on repeating to myself, secretly,

Lady Godiva, farewell…I don’t remember, Godiva…










‘For the future ages’ resounding glory,’




For the future ages’ resounding glory,

for their noble race of human beings,

I was deprived of my cup at the feast,

my own honour, and joyous things.




Our wolfish era runs at my shoulder,

but there’s no wolf’s blood in me,

better to crush me like a hat deeper

into a Siberian fur’s hot sleeve –




so I’ll see no cowardice, no filthy mire,

no blood-drenched bones on the wheel,

so that blue polar foxes may shine

all night, in primal beauty, for me.




Take me into the night, where the Yenisey

flows, where pines reach the starlight,

because there’s no wolf’s blood in me,

and only an equal shall take my life.




Note: The world's sixth largest river in terms of discharge, the Yenisey runs from south to north across the great expanse of central Siberia.













‘We live, not sensing our own country beneath us,’




We live, not sensing our own country beneath us,

ten steps away they evaporate, our speeches,




but where enough meet for half-conversation,

the Kremlin mountain man’s our occupation.




They’re like slimy worms, his fat fingers,

his words, as solid as weights of measure.




In his cockroach moustaches there’s a beam

of laughter, while below his top boots gleam.




Round him a mob of thin-necked henchmen,

he toys there with the slavery of half-men.




Whoever whimpers, whoever warbles a note,

Whoever miaows, he alone prods and probes.




He forges decree after decree, like horseshoes –

in groins, foreheads, in eyes, and eyebrows.




Wherever an execution’s happening though –

there’s raspberry, and the Georgian’s giant torso.




Note: This anti-Stalin poem led to the poet’s arrest in 1934.










Black Earth (Chernozem)




Too weighty, too black, all that’s piled up,

all that’s heaped, shrinks, what’s well-aired,

all of it crumbles, all shaping a chorus –

moist clods for my oxen, my earth!




In days of spring ploughing – black, near blue,

and for peaceful work the solid ground –

a thousand heaps of furrowed speech –

something unbounded within its bound!




Yet the earth’s – a blunder, the butt of a tool:

you can’t move it by falling down at its feet:

it sharpens the hearing, a mildewed flute,

your ears with that cool dawn clarinet meet.




How pleasing the rich layers to the blade,

how silent the steppe, in April’s ploughing…

Well: live long, black earth: be firm, clear-eyed –

here there’s a black-voiced silence working.







‘Today makes no sense to me,’




Today makes no sense to me,

yellow-mouthed it exists –

dockyard gates stare at me

through anchors and mist.




Slow, slow, in faded channels,

a battle-convoy slides by,

while narrow pencil-box canals

show blacker under sheets of ice.










‘I shall perform a smoky rite:’







I shall perform a smoky rite:

disgraced, I see, in the opal here

a seaside summer’s strawberries –

cornelians split into two halves

agates, antlike, their brothers,

but a pebble from deep waters,

a simple soldier’s dearer to me,

that no one wants – grey, wild.




Note: Opala in Russian is ‘disgrace’.










‘Like a belated gift,’




Like a belated gift,

Winter’s palpable to me:

and I’m in love with

it’s first uncertain sweep.




It’s terror’s beautiful,

like the start of what’s dreadful:

even the ravens fearful

of its leafless circle.




But most intense, fragile –

is its bulging blueness:

half-formed ice, that fills

the river, lulling, sleepless…










‘I’m still alive: I’m still not alone,’




I’m still alive: I’m still not alone,

with a beggar-woman beside me

I take delight in the huge empty zone,

the haze, the blizzards, and the freeze.




In beautiful poverty, luxurious distress,

living alone – consoled, and quietly –

these days, these nights, are blessed,

and innocent labour echoes sweetly.




Unhappy he, whom, like his shade,

barking scares, the wind scythes through,

and poor the one, half-alive, who’s made

to beg for mercy from a shadow.










‘Oh, sluggish, asthmatic spaciousness’




Oh, sluggish, asthmatic spaciousness –

I’m full of it, to the point of rebellion! –

the view’s wide open, catching its breath –

there’s a blindfold needed here for my vision!




I’d rather have put up with layered leaves

of sand along the Kama’s toothed shores,

I’d have clung there to its shy sleeves,

its bends, its precipices, and pores.




A second, an age – I’d have been working

envying outfalls from every rapid there,

listening to the growth of fibrous rings

beneath the surface of the flowing timber.













‘Don’t compare: the living are incomparable:’




Don’t compare: the living are incomparable:

with a kind of tender dread I consented

to the flatness of the plains, and the circle

of the heavens made me feel afflicted.




I appealed to my servant, the air,

waiting for service, for messages,

prepared for a journey, swam the arc

of never-to-be-started voyages.




I’m ready to go – where there’s more sky –

but pure longing now won’t set me free

from the still-youthful hills of Voronezh,

to those, clear, and wholly-human, of Tuscany.




Note: Mandelstam was exiled temporarily to Voronezh in 1933.










‘Like feminine silver, it’s forged here,’




Like feminine silver, it’s forged here,

what fought with oxides and alloys,

and it’s quiet work that silvers

the plough’s iron, the poet’s voice.







‘Hearing, hearing early ice’




Hearing, hearing early ice

rustling under bridges,

I remember, swimming joyous

tipsy, in above my head.




From callous stairs, squares,

angular palazzos, gripped

by his own Florence, Alighieri

sang more fully,

from exhausted lips.




So too my shade picks

at granite grains, by night

it sees a row of blocks

that seemed houses in the light.




or my shade yawns aloud,

and twiddles its thumbs,




or makes noises in the crowd,

by wine and sky made warm,




and feeds the bitter bread

to importunate swans…




Note. Dante was exiled from Florence. He complained of the bitter taste of another man’s bread, and of how hard it was to climb and descend another man’s stair (see: Paradiso Canto XVII). His shade picked its way through the underworld in his Divine Comedy.










‘Gaps of the curved bays, jetsam, dark-blues,’




Gaps of the curved bays, jetsam, dark-blue,

and the slow sail extended into a cloud –

barely knowing your worth, yet parted from you:

sea-weed’s false-hair longer than organ fugues –

smelling there of long-standing falsehoods.

My mind’s tipsy with an iron tenderness,

and rust gently gnaws at the sloping ground…

Why under my head is there this alien sand?

You – guttural Urals, broad-shouldered Volga,

flat-lands round – here are all my rights – you,

with all my lungs, I must breathe more of you!










‘Armed with a wasp’s narrow sight,’




Armed with a wasp’s narrow sight,

sucking the axis of earth, the axis of earth,

I smell all: the more comes to light,

and I learn it all, I learn it by heart.




I don’t paint, and I don’t sing,

I don’t scrape a black-voiced bow here,

I only strike at life with my sting,

and love to envy sly waspish power.




Oh, if summer’s heat, air’s sting,

would only make me, from death

from sleep someday escaping,

feel the axis of earth, the axis of earth…










‘I’m sinking down, down, down,’




I’m sinking down, down, down,

plunged deep in a fortress, a den of lions,

under this leavening downpour of sound –

more than the Pentateuch, stronger than lions.




How close, close, your summons nears –

a demand like childbirth, of the first-born –

a thread, made of Oceanian pearls,

the meek baskets of Tahitian women.




Mother of songs, made to chasten us,

approach, deep-voiced resonant singer!

All our rich daughters’ sweet-shy faces,

primal Mother, aren’t worth your little finger.




Yet time’s still unbounded for me.

And I’ve followed the universe’s

rapture, like an organ, sotto-voce,

accompanying a woman’s voice.










‘I lift this greenness to my lips,’




I lift this greenness to my lips,

this sticky promise of leaves,

this breach of promise, Earth –

mother of snowdrops, maples, oak-trees.




Bowing to the humblest root,

see, how I’m blinded, dazed,

this explosion, to one’s eyes

isn’t the splendour too great?




Frogs, croaking, couple in spheres,

like corpuscles of mercury,

twigs turn into branches,

and mist’s a milky fantasy.







‘A Greek flute’s theta and iota –’




A Greek flute’s theta and iota –

as if words weren’t enough for the ear –

un-carved, and unaccountable,

ripened, toiled, crossed the frontier.




Impossible to leave it behind:

clenched teeth can’t deny it,

the tongue can’t prod it into line,

the lips can’t dissipate it.




The flautist knows no peace –

it seems to him he’s alone,

that he formed his native sea

from lilac clay, long ago.




With distinct, ambitious murmur,

relentless remembering lips, he

hastens to gather the sounds,

cherish them, neatly, stingily.




Later we’re unable to repeat him,

clods of clay in the palms of the sea,

and when I’m filled with the ocean,

my measure can only be disease.




And my lips are unable to sing,

there is murder too at the root.

Involuntarily, waning, waning,

I diminish the power of the flute.







‘Potters made its power, this azure isle – ’




Potters made its power, this azure isle –

green Crete. And baked their offerings

in sounding earth. Can’t you recognise,

underground, the beat of dolphins’ fins?




And it’s easy to recall the sea

in clay made joyful by firing,

while the pot’s cold mastery,

cools the flame of sea, and seeing.




Give me back my labour, azure isle,

vanishing Crete, that work of mine,

and from the breasts of the fertile

goddess, fill the jars with wine.




Long ages before Odysseus,

all this existed, and was sung,

before food and drink, for us,

were ‘my’ or ‘mine’ on the tongue.




But renew, and shine for me,

the ox-eyed sky’s starriness,

and the flying fish – fortuity,

and the sea, saying – ‘Yes’.










!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Russian/Mandelstam.htm


‘Only to read childrens’ books’


Only to read childrens’ books,

only to love childish things,
throwing away adult things,
rising from saddest looks.

I am wearied to death with life.
There’s nothing it has that I want,
but I celebrate my naked earth,
there’s no other world to descant.

A plain swing of wood;
the dark, of the high fir-tree,
in the far-off garden, swinging;
remembered by feverish blood.

                   



‘On the pale-blue enamel’

 

On the pale-blue enamel,

that April can bring,
birch branches’ imperceptible
sway, slipped towards evening.
                   
A network of finely etched lines,
is the pattern’s finished state,
the carefully-made design,
like that on a porcelain plate,

the thoughtful artist set,
on the glazed firmament,
oblivious to sad death,
knowing ephemeral strength.

                   
                



‘What shall I do with this body they gave me,’


What shall I do with this body they gave me,

so much my own, so intimate with me?

For being alive, for the joy of calm breath,
tell me, who should I bless?

I am the flower, and the gardener as well,
and am not solitary, in earth’s cell.

My living warmth, exhaled, you can see,
on the clear glass of eternity.

A pattern set down,
until now, unknown.

Breath evaporates without trace,
but form no one can deface.



‘A speechless sadness’


A speechless sadness

opened two huge eyes.
A vase of flowers woke:
splashing crystal surprise.

The whole room filled,
with languor - sweet potion!
Such a tiny kingdom
to swallow sleep’s ocean.

Wine’s slight redness,
May’s slight sunlight –
fingers, slender, and white,
breaking wafer-fragments.




‘There is no need for words’


There is no need for words:

nothing must be heard.
How sad, and fine,
an animal’s dark mind.

Nothing it must make heard:
it has no use for words,
a young dolphin, plunging, steep,
along the world’s grey deep.
                   
                   
                   



Silentium


She has not yet been born:

she is music and word,
and therefore the un-torn,
fabric of what is stirred.
                   
Silent the ocean breathes.
Madly day’s glitter roams.
Spray of pale lilac foams,
in a bowl of grey-blue leaves.

May my lips rehearse
the primordial silence,
like a note of crystal clearness,
sounding, pure from birth!

Stay as foam Aphrodite – Art –
and return, Word, where music begins:
and, fused with life’s origins,
be ashamed heart, of heart!
                   
                   
                   

                   



The Shell


Night, maybe you don’t need

me. From the world’s reach,
a shell without a pearl’s seed,
I’m thrown on your beach.

You move indifferent seas,
and always sing,
but you will still be pleased,
with this superfluous thing.

You lie nearby on the shore,
wrapped in your chasuble,
and the great bell of the waves’ roar,
you will fasten to the shell.

Your murmuring foam will kiss
the walls of the fragile shell,
with wind and rain and mist,
like a heart where nothing dwells.

                   


 Orioles are in the woods, and in tonic verse’

 

Orioles are in the woods, and in tonic verse

the length of vowels is the only measure.
Once in each year nature’s drawn to excess,
and overflows, like Homer’s metre.

Today yawns, like the caesura’s suspense:
From dawn there’s quiet, and laborious timelessness:
oxen at pasture, and golden indolence;
from the reed, to draw a whole note’s richness.
                   
Note: The metre of Homeric poetry is quantitative, based on vowel length (Mandelstam calls this ‘tonic’). The caesura is a pause or break in the line.

                   
                   



‘Nature –is Rome, and mirrored there.’


Nature  -  is Rome, and mirrored there.

We see its grandeur, civic forms parade:
a sky-blue circus in the clear air,
fields a forum, trees a colonnade.

Nature  -  is Rome, therefore,
it seems vain now for prayers to be made:
there are sacrificial entrails, to foretell war;
slaves, to keep silent; stones, to be laid!




Insomnia. Homer. Taut canvas.’

 

Insomnia. Homer. Taut canvas.

Half the catalogue of ships is mine:
that flight of cranes, long stretched-out line,
that once rose, out of Hellas.

To an alien land, like a phalanx of cranes –
Foam of the gods on the heads of kings –
Where do you sail?  What would the things
of Troy, be to you, Achaeans, without Helen?

The sea, or Homer – all moves by love’s glow.
Which should I hear? Now Homer is silent,
and the Black Sea thundering its oratory, turbulent,
and, surging, roars against my pillow.
                   
Note: The catalogue of ships appears in Homer’s Iliad Book II (equivalent to counting sheep for the insomniac!) Hellas is Greece, and the Achaeans are the Greeks journeying to the Trojan War. Homer compares the clans to the flocks of geese, cranes, or long-necked swans that gather by the River Cayster in Asia Minor. Troy is near the entrance to the Hellespont, the gateway to the Black Sea. The abduction of Helen was the cause of the War: Paris’s love for her the root of the conflict.

                   



‘Herds of horses whinny and graze’


Herds of horses whinny and graze.

This valley turns, like Rome, to rust.
Time’s clear torrents wash away
a Classic Spring’s dry gilded dust.

In Autumn’s solitary decline,
treading on oak leaves, my path goes,
remembering Caesar’s pure outline,
feminine features, treacherous curved nose.

Capitol and Forum, far-off: Nature’s fall.
Here on the world’s edge I hear
Augustus’s Age, its orblike ball
rolling, majestically, an earthly sphere.

When I am old, let my sadness shine.
Rome bore me: she returns.
Autumn, my she-wolf, kind:
over me, August – month of the Caesars – burned.

Note: Mandelstam identifies with the exiled Ovid on his Black Sea shore, sent there for ‘a poem and a mistake’ (carmen et error), by Augustus. In his essay ‘Word and Culture’ he said ‘Yesterday has not been born yet, has not yet truly existed. I want Ovid, Pushkin and Catullus to live once more…’



‘In transparent Petropolis we will leave only bone’


In transparent Petropolis we will leave only bone,

here where we are ruled by Proserpina.
We drink the air of death, each breath of the wind’s moan,
and every hour is our death-hour’s keeper.
Sea-goddess, thunderous Athena,
remove your vast carapace of stone.
In transparent Petropolis we will leave only bone:
Here Proserpine is our Tsarina.

Note: Petropolis, a Greek version of Petersburg, was Pushkin’s and Derzhavin’s name for St. Petersburg, Peter the Great’s granite city on the River Neva, his ‘window on Europe’. The poem was written during the early years of the Revolution.




                   

‘From a Fearful height, a wandering light’


From a fearful height, a wandering light,

but does a star glitter like this, crying?
Transparent star, wandering light,
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

From a fearful height, earthly dreams are alight,
and a green star is crying.
Oh star, if you are the brother of water and light
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

A monstrous ship, from a fearful height
is rushing on, spreading its wings, flying -
Green star, in beautiful poverty,
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.

Transparent spring has broken, above the black Neva’s hiss,
the wax of immortality is liquefying.
Oh if you are star – your city, Petropolis,
your brother, Petropolis, is dying.



‘Brothers, let us glorify freedom’s twilight’ –


Brothers, let us glorify freedom’s twilight –

the great, darkening year.
Into the seething waters of the night
heavy forests of nets disappear.
O Sun, judge, people, your light
is rising over sombre years

Let us glorify the deadly weight
the people’s leader lifts with tears.
Let us glorify the dark burden of fate,
power’s unbearable yoke of fears.
How your ship is sinking, straight,
he who has a heart, Time, hears.

We have bound swallows
into battle legions - and we,
we cannot see the sun: nature’s boughs
are living, twittering, moving, totally:
through the nets –the thick twilight - now
we cannot see the sun, and Earth floats free.

Let’s try: a huge, clumsy, turn then
of the creaking helm, and, see -
Earth floats free. Take heart, O men.
Slicing like a plough through the sea,
Earth, to us, we know, even in Lethe’s icy fen,
has been worth a dozen heavens’ eternity.




The Age


My beast, my age, who will try

to look you in the eye,
and weld the vertebrae
of century to century,
with blood? Creating blood
pours out of mortal things:
only the parasitic shudder,
when the new world sings.

As long as it still has life,
the creature lifts its bone,
and, along the secret line
of the spine, waves foam.
Once more life’s crown,
like a lamb, is sacrificed,
cartilage under the knife -
the age of the new-born.
To free life from jail,
and begin a new absolute,
the mass of knotted days
must be linked by means of a flute.
With human anguish
the age rocks the wave’s mass,
and the golden measure’s hissed
by a viper in the grass.

And new buds will swell, intact,
the green shoots engage,
but your spine is cracked
my beautiful, pitiful, age.
And grimacing dumbly, you writhe,
look back, feebly, with cruel jaws,
a creature, once supple and lithe,
at the tracks left by your paws.
                   


‘This night is irredeemable.’


This night is irredeemable.

Where you are, it is still bright.
At the gates of Jerusalem,
a black sun is alight.

The yellow sun is hurting,
sleep, baby, sleep.
The Jews in the Temple’s burning
buried my mother deep.

Without rabbi, without blessing,
over her ashes, there,
the Jews in the Temple’s burning
chanted the prayer.

Over this mother,
Israel’s voice was sung.
I woke in a glittering cradle,
lit by a black sun.

Note: Written in 1916 it glitters with a terrible prophecy. The black sun recurs as an image in Mandelshtam, associated also with Pushkin’s burial at night and  Euripides’ ‘Phaedra’. See the fragments of Mandelshtam’s unpublished essay ‘Pushkin and Scriabin’, the poem  Phaedra in ‘Tristia’, and the poem  ‘We shall meet again in Petersburg.’ (Translated in my small selection of  Russian Poems: ‘Clear Voices’)  



      Tristia


I have studied the Science of departures,

in night’s sorrows, when a woman’s hair falls down.
The oxen chew, there’s the waiting, pure,
in the last hours of vigil in the town,
and I reverence night’s ritual cock-crowing,
when reddened eyes lift sorrow’s load and choose
to stare at distance, and a woman’s crying
is mingled with the singing of the Muse.

Who knows, when the word ‘departure’ is spoken
what kind of separation is at hand,
or of what that cock-crow is a token,
when a fire on the Acropolis lights the ground,
and why at the dawning of a new life,
when the ox chews lazily in its stall,
the cock, the herald of the new life,
flaps his wings on the city wall?

I like the monotony of spinning,
the shuttle moves to and fro,
the spindle hums. Look, barefoot Delia’s running
to meet you, like swansdown on the road!
How threadbare the language of joy’s game,
how meagre the foundation of our life!
Everything was, and is repeated again:
it’s the flash of recognition brings delight.

So be it: on a dish of clean earthenware,
like a flattened squirrel’s pelt, a shape,
forms a small, transparent figure, where
a girl’s face bends to gaze at the wax’s fate.
Not for us to prophesy, Erebus, Brother of Night:
Wax is for women: Bronze is for men.
Our fate is only given in fight,
to die by divination is given to them.

Note: Mandelstam wrote: ‘In night’s stillness a lover speaks one tender name instead of the other, and suddenly knows that this has happened before: the words, and her hair, and the cock crowing under the window, that already crowed in Ovid’s Tristia. And he is overcome by the deep delight of recognition....’ in ‘The Word and Culture’ in Sobraniye sochineniy. The reference is to the night before Ovid’s departure to his Black Sea exile, in his Tristia Book I iii.

Divination was carried out by girls, who melted candle wax on the surface of a shallow dish of water, to form random shapes.

Erebus was the son of Chaos, and Night his sister. In versions of the Greek myths Eros and Nemesis are the children of Erebus and Night. Erebus is also a place of shadows between Earth and Hades.

Verse 3 echoes Tibullus’s poem to Delia Book I III 90-91 and Pushkin’s early (1812) poems to‘Delia’.



‘Sisters – Heaviness and Tenderness – you look the same’


Sisters - Heaviness and Tenderness- you look the same.

Wasps and bees both suck the heavy rose.
Man dies, and the hot sand cools again.
Carried off on a black stretcher, yesterday’s sun goes.

Oh, honeycombs’ heaviness, nets’ tenderness,
it’s easier to lift a stone than to say your name!
I have one purpose left, a golden purpose,
how, from time’s weight, to free myself again.

I drink the turbid air like a dark water.
The rose was earth; time, ploughed from underneath.
Woven, the heavy, tender roses, in a slow vortex,
the roses, heaviness and tenderness, in a double-wreath.
                   
Note: Mandelstam in his essay ‘Word and Culture’ said ‘Poetry is the plough that turns up time, so that the deepest layer, its black earth, is on top.’
                   




    ‘I don’t remember the word I wished to say.’

     

    I don’t remember the word I wished to say.

    The blind swallow returns to the hall of shadow,
    on shorn wings, with the translucent ones to play.
    The song of night is sung without memory, though.

    No birds. No blossoms on the dried flowers.
    The manes of night’s horses are translucent.
    An empty boat drifts on the naked river.
    Lost among grasshoppers the word’s quiescent.

    It swells slowly like a shrine, or a canvas sheet,
    hurling itself down, mad, like Antigone,
    or falls, now, a dead swallow at our feet.
    with a twig of greenness, and a Stygian sympathy.

    O, to bring back the diffidence of the intuitive caress,
    and the full delight of recognition.
    I am so fearful of the sobs of The Muses,
    the mist, the bell-sounds, perdition.

    Mortal creatures can love and recognise: sound may
    pour out, for them, through their fingers, and overflow:
    I don’t remember the word I wished to say,
    and a fleshless thought returns to the house of shadow.
    The translucent one speaks in another guise,
    always the swallow, dear one, Antigone....
    on the lips the burning of black ice,
    and Stygian sounds in the memory.

    Note: Mandelstam uses the term Aonides for the Muses, so called because their haunt of Mount Helicon was in Aonia an early name for Boeotia. (See Ovid Metamorphoses V333, and VI 2). The Antigone referred to may be the daughter of Laomedon turned into a bird, Ovid VI 93 says a stork, rather than Sophocles’s Antigone. The crane or stork was associated with the alphabet. (See Graves: The White Goddess). In dark times the word is a bird of the underworld communing with the shades of the dead. Recognition is a key word for Mandelstam, see the poem Tristia. He considers himself no longer mortal, beyond the living, and therefore inspired by the darkness, and not the light of love and recognition.
                       
                       
                                           



    ‘For joy’s sake, from my hands,’

     

    For joy’s sake, from my hands,

    take some honey and some sun,
    as Persephone’s bees told us.

    Not to be freed, the unmoored boat.
    Not to be heard, fur-booted shadows.
    Not to be silenced, life’s dark terrors.

    Now we only have kisses,
    dry and bristling like bees,
    that die when they leave the hive.

    Rustling in clear glades of night,
    in the dense forests of Taygetos,
    time feeds them; honeysuckle; mint.

    For joy’s sake take my strange gift,
    this simple thread of dead, dried bees,
    turned honey in the sun.

    Note: Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld as an aspect of the Triple Goddess, equates to the Great Goddess of Crete, to whom the bees, honey and the hive were sacred. Wax and honey were products of the goddess, and symbolise poetry and art, the products of artifice, made by the craft of the bees, and embodied in them. Persephone’s bees are therefore the songs of the darkness, of dark times. Taygetos, the mountain range above Sparta (extending from Arcadia to Taenarum, separating Laconia and Messenia) sacred to Apollo and Artemis (the God of Art, and the incarnation of the Great Goddess respectively) produced a darker honey than Hymettos near Athens. The Russian state is equated to Sparta and its militaristic mode of governance. The dried, dead bees are the poems, strung on a thread of spirit, that, when they leave the lips, ‘die’ into the stillness of the word.



     

    ‘The ranks of human heads dwindle: they’re far away.’


    The ranks of human heads dwindle: they’re far away.

    I vanish there, one more forgotten one.
    But in loving words, in childrens’ play,
    I shall rise again, to say – the Sun!



     

    ‘Your thin shoulders whips will redden’


    Your thin shoulders whips will redden,

    whips will redden, and ice make leaden.
                       
    Your childish arms will heave rail-tracks,
    heave rail-tracks and sew mail-sacks.

    Your tender feet will tread naked on glass,
    tread naked on glass; and blood-wet sand pass.

    And for you, I am here, to burn - a black flare,
    to burn - a black flare, frightened of prayer.




    ‘This is what I most want’


    This is what I most want

    un-pursued, alone
    to reach beyond the light
    that I am furthest from.

    And for you to shine there-
    no other happiness-
    and learn, from starlight,
    what its fire might suggest.

    A star burns as a star,
    light becomes light,
    because our murmuring
    strengthens us, and warms the night.

    And I want to say to you
    my little one, whispering,
    I can only lift you towards the light
    by means of this babbling.

    Note: Written for his wife, Nadezhda.





    ‘A flame is in my blood’


    A flame is in my blood

    burning dry life, to the bone.
    I do not sing of stone,
    now, I sing of wood.

    It is light and coarse:
    made of a single spar,
    the oak’s deep heart,
    and the fisherman’s oar.

    Drive them deep, the piles:
    hammer them in tight,
    around wooden Paradise,
    where everything is light.

    Note: A poem from his early collection ‘Stone’ here translated, out of historical sequence, as an envoi, setting lightness against the heaviness of that stone world that Mandelstam encountered, and, in the spirit, overcame.
                       
    In his essay ‘Morning of Acmeism’ (1913, published 1919) Mandelshtam took stone as a symbol of the free word, quoting Tyutchev, and saw poetry architecturally as in Dante, and in the context of the human being as an anonymous, indispensable, stone in the Gothic structure, of his essay on Villon (1910 published 1913). This poem however suggests to me a movement forward from this concept to poetry as the dark ploughed earth, and then the more fluid bird-flight and flute-music of his later poetry, the word as Psyche, wandering around the thing, and freely choosing its places to live in, as he suggests in the important essay ‘Word and Culture’ (1921, revised 1928)



    *********************************************************************************




    Osip Mandelshtam

    "To Cure Wounds Is..."

    To cure wounds is so rigid:
    They drank the air and poisoned bread.
    Young Joseph who was sold to Egypt
    Could not be more deathly sad!

    The nomads under starry dome,
    With eyes, half-closed, and on horse,
    Compose sagas, while they roam,
    About day they vaguely crossed.

    Few things they need for inspiration:
    One lost his quiver in the sand;
    One changed his horse ... . In peaceful fashion
    The daily mist comes to its end;

    And if a song is simply gaining
    Your heart with non-predicted grace,
    All vanish -- only they are reigning:
    The stars, the singer, and the space!

    "I Can't Sleep..."


    I can’t sleep. Homer, and the taut white sails.
    I could the list of ships read only to a half:
    The long-long breed, the train of flying cranes
    Had lifted once the ancient Greece above.

    The wedge of cranes to alien far frontier --
    On heads of kings, as foam, crowns shine --
    Where do you sail? If Helen were not here,
    What Troy then means for you, Achaeia’s people fine?

    And Homer and the sea are moved by only love.
    Whom must I listen to? Homer is silent yet,
    And blackened sea with roar comes above,
    Sunk in triumphant noise, head of my sleepless bed.

    "I Had Not Tried the Wine..."

    I had not tried the wine that ancients made,
    And had not heard of Ossian’s old tune;
    So why, on earth, I seem to see the glade,
    And, in the skies -- the bloody Scottish moon?

    And the call-over of a raven with a harp
    I faintly hear in that silence, full of fright,
    And, spread by winds, the winter woolen scarves
    Of knights are flashing in the red moonlight!

    I had received the blessing to inherit
    Another singer’s ever rambling dreams;
    For kin’s and neighbor’s  spiritual merits
    To have despise we’re absolutely free.

    And not a lone treasure, I suppose,
    Will pass grandchildren and to others fling,
    Again a scald will ancient songs compose,
    And, as his own, will again them sing.
    "O Heavens, Heavens..."

    O heavens, heavens, see you in my dreams!
    It is impossible -- you had become so blind,
    And day was burned as if a page  -- to rims:
    Some smoke and ashes, one could later find.

    "I Often Shiver With Cold"

    I often shiver with cold --
    I want to be mute as a thing!
    There is, in the skies, dancing gold
    Sending me commands to sing!

    Singer, be sad and upset,
    Love, and remember, and call,
    Catch, from a dark planet sent,
    Light and magnificent ball.

    That’s a true link, I believe,
    With the mysterious worlds!
    What an oppressive grief,
    What a misfortune holds!

    What if that star, as a pin,
    Suddenly’ll pierce my heart?
    That one, which shimmering spins
    Over the shop apart?

    "I Could Not Among..."

    I could not among the misty clouds
    Your unstable and painful image catch,
    "Oh, my God", I promptly said aloud,
    Having not a thought these words to fetch.

    As a bird -- an immense bird and sound --
    Holly Name flew out of my chest.
    And ahead the  mist mysterious crowds,
    And the empty cage behind me rests.

    "No, Not the Moon..."


    No, not the moon, but simple dial-plate
    Is lightning me, and ‘tis my nasty fate,
    That lights of stars I feel as light internal!

    And loftiness of Batyushkov I hate:
    "What time is it?" - he had been asked there
                                            late --

    To M.L. Lozinsky


    I feel the undefeated fear,
    In presence of the misty heights;
    I'm glad that swallows fly here
    And I enjoy the belfry's flight!

    The ancient traveler is going, I suppose,
    Above the gulf on bending footway's planks,
    The snow ball continues in its growth,
    And great eternity on clocks of stone strikes.

    But I am not that traveler at all,
    That flashes on the dry and faded leaves,
    And really in me the sadness calls;

    Indeed, the avalanche among the highlands lives!
    A ring of bells my own soul fills -
    But music cannot save from devastating falls!

    And he had answered with curiosity "Eternal!"




    Translated by Yevgeny Bonver October, 1994


    Osip Mandelstam


    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/osip-mandelstam
    1891–1938


    Osip Mandelstam
    Osip Mandelstam ranks among the most significant Russian poets of the twentieth century. He was born in Warsaw, Poland in or around 1891, but soon afterward his family moved to St. Petersburg, Russia. In St. Petersburg, the Jewish Mandelstams—on the strength, according to some critics, of the father’s fine standing as a leather merchant—managed to live relatively free of the anti-Semitic hostilities which were then pervasive. Mandelstam eventually studied at the city’s prestigious Tenishev School, but he failed to distinguish himself. Continuing his education abroad, he attended both the Sorbonne in Paris and the University of Heidelberg in Germany. After returning home Mandelstam—despite his Jewish ancestry and his somewhat unimpressive record at Tenishev—gained acceptance to the University of St. Petersburg, a rather exclusive, and exclusively Christian, institution.

    By this time, the early 1910s, Mandelstam had already forsaken his actual studies in favor of writing, and he had begun contributing verse to Apollon, St. Petersburg’s leading literary journal. In 1913 he published his first verse collection, Kamen—translated as Stone, which immediately established him in the upper echelon of Russian poets. During the era when Stone was first published, symbolism was the dominant form of poetic expression among Russian poets. Mandelstam, however, renounced the symbolist style and its metaphysical, even occult aspects. His own poems were direct expressions of thoughts, feelings, and observations. As such, Mandelstam ranked as an Acmeist, which is to say that his poems were acknowledged to be rooted in intuition and a humanist perspective. Appropriately enough, Mandelstam himself described his Acmeist style as “organic.”

    Unfortunately for Mandelstam, the 1910s were hardly a prosperous decade for establishing one’s self as a poet in Russia. World War I was no sooner at an end than Russia erupted into revolution. The Bolsheviks, who were themselves divided, assumed control of the country and soon began bending art—and, thus, artists—to propagandist ends. For Mandelstam, who had supported the Bolsheviks, the appropriation of his poetry to a political cause, even one that presumed to advocate the greater good of the common people, proved untenable. Far from applying his poetry to the political ends recommended by Russia’s governing body, Mandelstam persisted in writing poetry that promoted his own humanism, which was at once profound yet personal. Consequently, he soon become the subject of reproach from those artists and intellectuals who had willingly compromised themselves.

    In the 1920s, as the Bolsheviks established their communist state of the Soviet Union, it became increasingly difficult for the nonconformist Mandelstam to maintain himself as a poet. He unabashedly refused to yield his art to political aims. Indeed, Mandelstam chose instead to emphasize his autonomy as an artist. In 1922, as the Bolsheviks began to exert increasing control over Russian artists, Mandelstam published Tristia, a collection that implicitly celebrates the individual over the masses and love over comradeship. These poems, far from affirming the ideals of the state, revel in the personal, even the painful. “Come back to me,” writes Mandelstam in an untitled poem (as translated by Clarence Brown and W. S. Merwin in Selected Poems), “I’m frightened without you. / Never had you such power / over me as now. /Everything I desire / appears to me. / I’m not jealous any more. / I’m calling you.” It is clear from the poems in Tristia that in this period of apocalyptic upheaval [Mandelstam’s] main concern is with art, poetry, the word,” observed Nils Ake Nilsson in Scando-Slavica. “The question he puts to himself is: will poetry survive?”
    Tristia contributed to Mandelstam’s further alienation from his country’s pro-state artists and intellectuals. Among peers who had willingly compromised their art for the communists, Mandelstam was reviled as a subversive and, thus, a threat to the well-being of the new communist state, which ostensibly emphasized the collective over the individual. Other artists who had adopted the same defiant stance as Mandelstam had already fallen victim to the vindictive communists. Notable among these figures is Nikolay Gumilev, who was generally recognized as the leader of the Acmeist poets. Gumilev—who had been married to Anna Akhmatova, considered by some scholars Russia’s greatest poet of the times—had already been executed by 1921, the year beforeTristia first appeared in print.
    Mandelstam likewise became the victim of recriminations from the newly empowered communists. He found it increasingly difficult to publish his poems in literary journals and eventually resorted to writing children’s books as a means of supporting himself. But in 1925, despite considerable adversity, Mandelstam published The Noise of Time,a collection of autobiographical accounts. Donald Rayfield, in his introduction to The Eyesight of Wasps: Poems, a collection of Mandelstam’s poems translated by James Greene, described The Noise of Time as “a haunting evocation of the cultural influences . . . on the adolescent [Mandelstam].” Such personal writings, however, probably did little to endear Mandelstam to authorities eager to promote more political works explicitly supportive of the Soviet leadership’s— that is, dictator Joseph Stalin’s—own aims.
    In 1928 Mandelstam, despite continued antagonism from state officials, managed to produce three more volumes: The Egyptian Stamp, a surreal novella about the sufferings of a Russian Jew; Poems, another verse collection, one that marked Mandelstam’s continued maturation as a poet; and On Poetry, a collection of critical essays. The Egyptian Stamp, commented Clarence Brown in Slavic and East European Journal, is “the single example of Mandelstam’s narrative prose and one of the few examples of surrealist fiction to be found in all of Russian literature.”
    That Mandelstam managed to publish the three works of 1928 has been attributed, at least in part, to the political maneuverings of Nikolay Bukharin, a poetry enthusiast prominent in communist dictator Joseph Stalin’s ruling circle. That same year, Mandelstam was accused of stealing credit after a publication mistakenly listed him as a translator instead of as an editor. With considerable guidance from the state, the press mounted a campaign against Mandelstam. Fearing that such allegations would result in his being banned from publishing, Mandelstam vehemently denied the charges. His actions, however, only served to fuel the press’s activities and the public’s interest. Finally, Bukharin interceded and managed to have Mandelstam and Nadezhda Khazina, Mandelstam’s wife of seven years, sent to Armenia as journalists.
    Bukharin’s ploy proved effective in that it removed Mandelstam from the center of controversy. But when Mandelstam returned in 1930, he again became the target of persecution from the communists. The state’s repressive ways with nonconformist poets continued to exact a heavy price: Akhmatova, for instance, chose to withdraw her work from consideration for publication. Another poet, Vladimir Mayakovsky, made a more extreme choice: suicide.
    Like fellow poet Boris Pasternak, Mandelstam eventually withdrew from poetry and began expressing himself in prose. He published Journey to Armenia, an account of his experiences there. D. M. Thomas noted in the Times Literary Supplement thatJourney to Armenia is “as allusive and charged with daring metaphor as [Mandelstam’s] poetry.” The volume failed to find favor with the Soviet authorities, who removed its editor from the work force.
    After publishing Journey to Armenia, Mandelstam found life at home to be even more trying than before. Although banned from publishing, he continued to write. He returned to poetry, and in his work from this period, the early 1930s, he began to acknowledge the sense that he was, in effect, doomed. In Selected Poems, translators Brown and Merwin provide this translation from “To Anna Akhmatova”: “O ancient headsman’s blocks, keep on loving me! / Players in the garden seem to aim at death, and hit nine-pins. / I walk through my life aiming like that, in my iron shirt / (why not?) and I’ll find an old beheading axe in the woods.”
    Mandelstam exacerbated his own demise when he wrote, in 1933, a poem characterizing Stalin as a gleeful killer. Brown and Merwin, in Selected Poems, present a translation of this poem, which concludes: “He rolls the executions on his tongue like berries. / He wishes he could hug them like big friends from home.” After news of this poem reached the Soviet leadership, Mandelstam was arrested. He was tortured both psychologically and physically, and it was assumed that he would eventually be executed. But once again Bukharin managed to intercede, this time having Mandelstam spared and consigned to a village in the Ural Mountains. During this period, Stalin undertook a series of murderous purges that rid the Soviet Union of countless citizens. No one, it seems, was safe. Even prominent party officials were executed.
    In exile, Mandelstam lived fearing that the Soviets were not yet done with him. He grew mad from the horrific tortures he had already endured, and he eventually attempted suicide. Through the ministrations of his wife, Mandelstam stabilized sufficiently to continue with his poetry. By this time he was fearless in depicting his hardships and writing of the crazed Stalin. An untitled poem from 1937, as translated by James Greene in The Eyesight of Wasps, reads: “The eyes of the unskilled earth shall shine / And like a ripe thunderstorm Lenin shall burst out, / But on this earth (which shall escape decay) / There to murder life and reason— Stalin.”
    After Mandelstam’s exile ended in 1937, he traveled to Moscow, where he had presumed that he still owned a home. The state, however, had seized Mandelstam’s quarters. Throughout the next year, Mandelstam and his wife lived a threadbare existence, and his health deteriorated to the extent that he suffered two heart attacks. During this period, Stalin undertook another series of purges to rid the Soviet Union of what he considered to be undesirable elements. While recuperating at a sanatorium, Mandelstam was once again arrested. This time he disappeared into the maze of Soviet work camps and prisons. In late 1938, the government reported that he had died of heart failure.

    In the years since his death, Mandelstam has come to be recognized, particularly in the West, as one of the Russian language’s greatest, and most inspiring, poets, the equal to Akhmatova, Pasternak, and Marina Tsvetaeva. While Mandelstam’s work received little attention in the Soviet Union, particularly during the Cold War, it gained widespread attention in the West, and has been published in many translated collections. These volumes serve to affirm the integrity of Mandelstam’s artistry and his spirit. As Ervin C. Brody wrote in his introduction to Poems from Mandelstam, a collection translated by R. H. Morrison: “No Soviet poet of modern sensibility reflected so intensively as Mandelstam the loss of historical and philosophical self- assurance and the emerging discrepancies between state order and the isolation of individual consciousness. . . . He was chiefly concerned with the preservation of Russia’s cultural and moral heritage, and his best poetry attests to the survival of art and consciousness . . . at a time and place when both seemed to have the flimsiest of chances to stay alive.”

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    WRITINGS BY THE AUTHOR:
    POETRY
    • Kamen, 1913, translation by Robert Tracy published as Stone, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1981. 

    • Tristia, 1922, translation by Bruce McClelland published as Tristia, Station Hill (Barrytown, NY), 1987. 

    • The Complete Poetry of Osip Emilevich Mandelstam (includes Kamen, Tristia, and Stikhotvoreniya), translated by Burton Raffel and Alla Burago, introduction by Sidney Monas, State University of New York Press (Albany), 1973. 

    • Selected Poems, translated by Clarence Brown and W. S. Merwin, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1974. 

    • Selected Poems, translated by David McDuff, Farrar, Straus (New York City), 1975. 

    • Bernard Meares, editor, Fifty Poems, introduction by Joseph Brodsky, Persea (New York, NY), 1977. 

    • Osip Mandelstam: Poems, selected and translated by James Greene, forewords by Nadezhda Mandelstam and Donald Davie, Elek (London), 1980. 

    • The Eyesight of Wasps: Poems, translated by Greene, forewords by Nadezhda Mandelstam and Davie, introduction by Donald Rayfield, Ohio State University Press (Columbus), 1989. 

    • Poems from Mandelstam, translated by R. H. Morrison, introduction by Ervin C. Brody, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Rutherford, NJ), 1990. 

    • A Necklace of Bees: Selected Poems, translated by Maria Enzensberger, foreword and afterward by Elaine Feinstein, Menard Press (London), 1992. 

    • The Voronezh Notebooks: Poems 1935-1937, translated by Richard and Elizabeth McKane, Bloodaxe (Newcastle Upon Tyne), 1996.
    Also author of Stikhotvoreniya (title means “Poems”), 1928. Poems also published in numerous other collections and anthologies. Contributor of poems to periodicals, including Apollon.
    Poems published posthumously in translation in numerous periodicals, including Hudson Review, Paris Review,and TriQuarterly.
    OTHER
    • Journey to Armenia, 1933, translation by Sidney Monas (published with George F. Ritchie’s Mandelstam and the Journey), G. F. Ritchie (San Francisco), 1979, translation by Clarence Brown published as Journey to Armenia,Redstone, 1989.
    • The Prose of Osip Mandelstam (includes The Noise of Time and The Egyptian Stamp), translated by Brown, 1965, published as The Noise of Time: The Prose of Osip Mandelstam, North Point Press (San Francisco), 1986.
    • Osip Mandelstam, Selected Essays, translated by Sidney Monas, University of Texas Press (Austin), 1977.
    • Jane Gary Harris, editor, The Complete Critical Prose and Letters, translated by Harris and Constance Link, Ardis (Ann Arbor, MI), 1979, published in England as The Collected Critical Prose and Letters, Collins Harvill (London), 1991.
    • The Moscow Notebooks, translated by Richard McKane and Elizabeth McKane, Bloodaxe, 1991.

    Also author of Shum vremeni (autobiographical essays; title means “The Noise of Time”), 1925, Egipetskaaya marka (novella; title means “The Egyptian Stamp”), 1928, and O poezii (criticism), 1928. Work also represented in numerous other collections and anthologies.

    FURTHER READING

    FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    BOOKS
    • Brown, Clarence, Mandelstam, Cambridge University Press, 1973. 

    • Cavanaugh, Clare, Osip Mandelstam and the Modernist Creation of Tradition, Princeton University Press, 1994. 

    • Freidin, Gregory, A Coat of Many Colors: Osip Mandelstam and His Mythologies of Self-Presentation, University of California Press, 1987. 

    • Harris, Jane Gary, Osip Mandelstam, Twayne, 1988. 

    • Mandelstam, Nadezhda, Hope Abandoned, translated by Max Hayward, Atheneum, 1981. 

    • Mandelstam, Nadezhda, Hope against Hope, translated by Max Hayward, Atheneum, 1970. 

    • Mandelstam, Osip, The Eyesight of Wasps: Poems, translated by James Greene, forewords by Nadezhda Mandelstam and Donald Davie, introduction by Donald Rayfield, Ohio State University Press (Columbus), 1989. 

    • Mandelstam, Osip, Poems from Mandelstam, translated by R. H. Morrison, introduction by Ervin C. Brody, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Rutherford, NJ), 1990. 

    • Mandelstam, Osip, Selected Poems, translated by Clarence Brown and W. S. Merwin, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1974. 

    • Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 2, 1979, Volume 6, 1982.