Morgaine

Mandelstam to Gumilev 1920

In Too lazy to assign a category on January 7, 2007 at 1:18 pm

MANDELSTAM TO GUMILEV 1920

The word, you said, stars in terror of it
Clung to the moon; eagles folded their wings;
Men ringed it with number, dreading its radiance.

Our sounds, woven of that radiance, were sacred,
You said – but now what a stink of dead words:
Dead bees, old hive deserted.

So take from me, I ask you, for the joy of it,
A drop of sun, a drop of honey: this
Persephone's bees ordain that we should do.

There's no unmooring the same boat twice over.
Fur-shoed shadow, certain things not a soul can hear,
Or overcome – the fear we live in, thick forest.

What's left to us? Only kisses,
Little bees, all shaggy, in their hives;
They fly into the open – their flight is death.

Night, forest of glass, the space they swarm through.
Taygetos, mountain forest, there they are born, bees
That feed on moments, honeyflower, and mint.

So take this gift, for the joy of it, this
Necklace, unassuming, made of dead bees:
They wove the honey, wove it back to sunlight.

[Christopher Middleton, based on poems by Osip Mandelstam]

I have read this poem out loud, for a thread on StumbleUpon called: post poems you love … read aloud. People would post poems and others would record their reading. This is my reading of the poem above.

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