• In St. Petersburg again we come together

    From Ilya Shambat@21:1/5 to All on Wed Dec 7 16:07:38 2022

    In St. Petersburg again we come together,
    As though Sun inside there we interred
    As though for the first time and forever
    We pronounced the blessed, thoughtless word.
    In black velvet of a Soviet even,
    In black velvet global emptiness,
    Sing the darling eyes of blissful women,
    Deathless flowers blossom and caress.


    Like a wildcat the city her back arches
    Over the bridge the patrol stands in line
    An angry motor through the darkness marches
    And like a cookoo-bird begins to whine.
    I need no nightly pass across the bridge
    I do not fear the nightly watchmen;
    And this one time for blessed, thoughtless speech
    I will make prayer on a Soviet even.


    The light theatrical whispering sounds
    A women's sighing and their gentle charm
    And deathless roses in a giant mound
    Lying upon white Kypris's gentle arm.
    From boredom we are warming at a campfire,
    Centuries will pass without harm,
    And light ashes gather and inspire
    The blessed, blissful women's darling arms.


    Red garden rows of gallery somewhere,
    In sumptuous chiffon draped, boxes stand tall,
    The windup doll of army officer -
    Not for vile hypocrites and for black souls.
    Well then, put out our candles with your finger,
    Black velvet of world emptiness, sail free,
    The blissful women's shoulders are singing
    And the nocturnal sun you will not see.

    By Osip Mandelshtam
    Translated from Russian by Ilya Shambat

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