by Osip Mandelstam
Insomnia. Homer. Taut canvas.
Half the catalogue of ships is mine:
that flight of cranes, long stretched-out line,
that once rose, out of Hellas.
To an alien land, like a phalanx of cranes –
Foam of the gods on the heads of kings –
Where do you sail? What would the things
of Troy, be to you, Achaeans, without Helen?
The sea, or Homer – all moves by love’s glow.
Which should I hear? Now Homer is silent,
and the Black Sea thundering its oratory, turbulent,
and, surging, roars against my pillow.
Last updated May 02, 2015