|Three Poems by Osip Mandelshtam|
The careful muffled sound
Of a fruit breaking loose from a tree
In the middle of the continual singing
Of deep forest silence...
Suddenly, from the dimly lit hall
It may be, night, you do not need me;
Indifferent, you stir the waves
You shall lie down on the sand close by,
And our whispering spray shall fill,
A heart where nobody dwells...
OSIP MANDELSHTAM is one the great Russian poets of our century. He was born in 1891 of Jewish parents and was brought up in St Petersburg, now Leningrad. His persecution by the Soviet authorities for his evident lack of ideological conformism began in earnest in the 1930s, and in 1934 he was arrested in 1938. He died in Eastern Siberia, on the way to a labor camp.
Click here to read Jacqueline Marcus' new article on Anna Akhmatova and the Russian Intelligentsia.