Saturday, February 28, 2015

Osip Mandelstam - Impressionism

For us the artist reproduced
The lilac in the deepest faint,
And on the canvas he diffused
Like scabs, the piercing steps of paint.

He grasped the density of paint,
And the parched vision of his summer,
Warmed up within the lilac brain,
Dilated in a stifling slumber.

The lilac shadow’s growing lush,
 A whistle or a whip is quenching.
You’d say the cooks in dinner rush          
Are dressing pigeons in the kitchen.

The swings are faintly discerned,
And veils are vaguely manifested,
And in this sun-drenched smogarsbord
A bumble bee reigns uncontested.

May 23, 1932

Translated by Dina Belyayeva


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