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Best Famous Osip Mandelstam Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Osip Mandelstam poems. This is a select list of the best famous Osip Mandelstam poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Osip Mandelstam poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Osip Mandelstam poems.

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by Osip Mandelstam |

Silentium

 She has not yet been born:
she is music and word,
and therefore the untorn,
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!


by Osip Mandelstam |

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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

This

 This is what I most want
unpursued, 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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

The Age

 My age, my beast, is there anyone
Who can peer into your eyes
And with his own blood fuse
Two centuries' worth of vertebrae?
The creating blood gushes
From the throat of earthly things,
And the parasite just trembles
On the threshold of new days.
While the creature still has life, The spine must be delivered, While with the unseen backbone A wave distracts itself.
Again they've brought the peak of life Like a sacrificial lamb, Like a child's supple cartilage— The age of infant earth.
To free the age from its confinement, To instigate a brand new world, The discordant, tangled days Must be linked, as with a flute.
It's the age that rocks the swells With humanity's despair, And in the undergrowth a serpent breathes The golden measure of the age.
Still the shoots will swell And the green buds sprout But your spinal cord is crushed, My fantastic, wretched age! And in lunatic beatitude You look back, cruel and weak, Like a beast that once was agile, At the tracks left by your feet.
The creating blood gushes From the throat of earthly things, The lukewarm cartilage of oceans Splashes like a seething fish ashore.
And from the bird net spread on high From the humid azure stones, Streams a flood of helpless apathy On your single, fatal wound.


by Osip Mandelstam |

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.


by Osip Mandelstam |

This

 Today, my love,
leaves are thrashing the wind
just as pedestrians are erecting again the buildings of this drab
forbidding city,
and our lives, as I lose track of them,
are the lives of others derailing in time and
getting things done.
Impossible to make sense of any one face or mouth, though each distance is clear, and you are miles from here.
Let your pure space crowd my heart, that we might stay awhile longer amid the flying debris.
This moment, I swear it, isn't going anywhere.