The Telephone (Телефон), Osip Mandelstam

lingua fennica


A rather cryptic poem. If I’ve got this right, Mandelstam would be horrified by the internet…

In dreadful world of grim oppressor
You, midnight burials’ gruesome friend,
In suicide’s strict lofty dresser
The telephone tells of the end.

The asphalt blackened lakes are pitted
As angry horse hooves clatter by,
Comes soon the sun; then soon emitted
Will be the senseless ashen cry.

And oak Valhalla there presided
In deep indulgent restful sleep;
And fate was told, the night decided,
When telephone began to leap.

The heavy curtains’ draft the atmosphere was thinning
The light was draining from the Theatre Square.
A ring – again the spheres are spinning:
Decision’s made to end it there.

So how to flee reverberation,
And how escape its dreaded weight?
Be still, accursed bell’s vibration!
I’m sorry! Seabed’s blooms elate!

It’s birdsong voice with all is clashing,
It sends to sleep, its mournful drone.

View original post 109 more words


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