Osip Mandelstam

“The White Orchard” by Vincent Van Gogh

I keep thinking about the poem below, written by Osip Mandelstram. I can’t seem to shake it’s imagery, and certain lines float up into my mind without warning.

Mandelstein was condemned and hunted by Joseph Stalin because he recited poetry that was critical of the Communist state. It isn’t certain, but this may have been the very last thing that Mandelstein composed. If not his last poem, it was one of the final two or three.

by Osip Mandelstam (4 May 1937)

And I was alive in the blizzard of the blossoming pear,
Myself I stood in the storm of the bird-cherry tree.
It was all leaflife and starshower, unerring, self-shattering power,
And it was all aimed at me.

What is this dire delight flowering fleeing always earth?
What is being? What is truth?

Blossoms rupture and rapture the air,
All hover and hammer,
Time intensified and time intolerable, sweetness raveling rot.
It is now. It is not.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s