Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the category “Russian Poetry”

Osip Mandelstam

“But your spine has been
smashed,
My beautiful, pitiful era,
And with an inane smile
You look back, cruel and
weak,
Like an animal past its
prime,
At the prints of your own
paws.”
– Osip Mandelstam, “Vek”

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From “Evening” 2

“There are spiderwebs among the berries,
The stems of the supple vines are still thin,
Like little ice floes, little ice floes,
In the gleaming water of the sky-blue river, clouds swim.”

Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

Alastair wrote a great review of the book, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era. I’m about halfway through – it’s excellent. At any rate, I came across a quote from Anna Akhamatova, whose poetry I recall reading a little of in my 20s. Reading some it now has left me speechless:

“Terror fingers all things in the dark,
Leads moonlight to the axe.
There’s an ominous knock behind the
wall:
A ghost, a thief or a rat…”

“You are no longer among the living,
You cannot rise from the snow.
Twenty-eight bayonets,
Five bullets.
A bitter new shirt
For my beloved I sewed.
The Russian earth loves, loves
Droplets of blood.”

It is time to pick up a copy of this book.

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