"Not believing in the Resurrection"

by Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam

I

Not believing in the Resurrection,
we strolled in the cemetery.
-- You know, the earth everywhere
reminds me of those hills
. . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . .
where Russia breaks off
above the black, deaf sea.

II

The broad meadow runs away
from the monastery's slopes.
I really didn't want to go so far
south of Vladimir's expanse,
but to stay in this wooded, dark,
and holy foolish place with such a dizzy nun
means disaster is in store.

III

I kiss the sunburned elbow
and a waxen patch of forehead.
I know it is still white
under the tawny golden locks.
I kiss the wrist where a bracelet
has left a white band.
The flaming summer of the Taurides
causes such marvels.

IV

How quickly you tanned,
came up and kissed the poor Savior,
couldn't tear yourself away --
but in Moscow, you were proud.
Only the name is left for us --
a marvelous, drawn-out sound.
Take this sand being poured
with my hands.




Last updated August 08, 2015