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Insomnia. Homer. Taut canvas.

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Written by Osip Mandelstam

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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.

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