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О / Осип Мандельштам /
Osip Mandelstam. Tristia (tranlsation by Ilya Shambat)

Osip Mandelstam. Tristia (tranlsation by Ilya Shambat)

© Copyright Osip Mandelstam
© Copyright english translation by Ilya Shambat (
Date: 14 Aug 2001
Origin: "Kamen. Tristia" Ў tristia.txt

It's so my own and so familiar. What should I do with this God-given flesh and blood?
For joys so quiet as to live and breathe, Who will receive my gratitude for these?
I'm both the gardener and flower one, In this world's dungeons I am not alone.
On the glass of the eternal one can see The traces of my breath and of the warmth of me.
Henceforth it bears a pattern which is mine Even to me unknown from recent times.
Let it be drained, the turmoil of the day - The lovely pattern won't be crossed away.

Silentium She has not taken her first sigh - She is the word and music both - And thus of all that lives and grows A timeless and unbroken tie.
Placidly breathe the breasts of sea The day is bright, as if gone mad, The sea foam's pallid lilacs stand In vase of lapis lazuli.
O, would my lips accept the lure Of muteness prime, now so remote, Reminding of a crystal notes That are innately truly pure.
Be foam, O Venus, stay as mists, And words to music do return And heart, at heart's own shame do burn, Fused with the core of what exists!

x x x An inexpressible sorrow Two giant pupils opened wide, A vase of flowers rose beside And into air her crystals threw
The room was filled three meters deep With dreaminess - hello sweet balm! That such a liliputian realm Could have consumed so much of sleep.
A bit of wine a bit of cake - A bit of sunny May despite - And thinnest fingers snowy white, Alive at last, have stretched awake.

x x x A snow hive cleaner than the air, Crystal more see-through than the glass A turquoise veil adorned with brass Carelessly tossed upon a chair.
A cloth made drunk of her own glow Caressed by tenderness of light Experienced the summer bright As though it were the winter snow.
And if through diamonds made of ice Frosts of eternities were streaming Here is the flutter of the dreaming Fast-living blue-eyed dragonflies.

x x x Blackened wind weaves patterns hollow Under barely breathing leaves And a trembling little swallow In dark skies a circle weaves.
Quietly argue in the heart Dear, dying, mine despite, An impending dusk apart Of an ebbing ray of light.
And above the woods of dusk Has arisen copper moon; Why so little song, I ask, And such silence in the lone?

x x x Why is the soul so lyrical And so few are the names I love And the ready rhythm but a miracle Like Aquillon from above?
He will raise clouds of dust in a hurry He will leaf through the paper stack And he will not come back - or maybe As another he will come back?
Winds of Or

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