Saturday, March 28, 2015

Osip Mandelstam - In the yard


* * *
In the yard I washed up late at night -
Rough-hewn stars shone on the vault of heaven.
On the ax like salt the starlight's bright,
And the barrel cooled filled to the brim forsaken.

All the gates are padlocked, and the Earth
Comes across as consciousness severe, -
One can’t find any premise worth
This much pure truth to persevere. 

In the barrel stars like salt dissolve,
And the water chill is dark and rueful.
Death is purer, woe is saltier and all
On the Earth’s more terrible and truthful.

1921

Translated by Dina Belyayeva


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