"Stretching taut the silken threads"

by Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam

Stretching taut the silken threads
On a mother-of-pearl shuttle,
O, lithe fingers, begin
Your fascinating lesson.
Ebb and flow of your hands,
Monotonous movements,
No doubt you are conjuring
Some kind of solar fright.
When your broad palm,
Like a shell, flaming,
First dies down, drawn to the shadows,
Then sinks at last in a rosy light.

Last updated January 14, 2019