A Body Was Given To Me

A body was given to me – what to do with it,
So unique and so much my own?

For the quiet joy of breathing and living,
Who is it, tell me, that I must thank?

I am the gardener, I am the flower as well,
In the dungeon of the world I am not alone.

On the glass of eternity has already settled
My breathing, my warmth.

A pattern prints itself on it,
Unrecognizable of late.

Let the lees of the moment trickle down –
The lovely pattern must not be wiped away.

–Osip Mandelstam

Some background on Mandelstam from Middle Stage:

The Russian poet Osip Mandelstam(1881-1938) was the brightest in a room full of brilliant flares, one of an extraordinary generation of poets that included Anna Akhmatova, Boris Pasternak, Aleksandr Blok, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Marina Tsvetayeva, who made up what is called the Silver Age of Russian poetry. No writer more than Mandelstam bore the brunt of the political experiment launched by his country in the second decade of the twentieth century. It could be said that he loved and lived for his native Russia, and died at the hands of the Soviet Union.

mandelstam

Advertisements