Osip Mandelstam

Mary Ann Reilly

Ringwood, United States

Artist's Description

We Live, Not Feeling

- Osip Mandelstam

We live, not feeling the country beneath us,
Our speech inaudible ten steps away,
But where they’re up to half a conversation -
They’ll speak of the Kremlin mountain man.
His thick fingers are fat like worms,
And his words certain as pound weights.
His cockroach whiskers laugh,
And the top of his boots glisten.
And all around his rabble of thick-skinned leaders,
He plays through services of half-people.
Some whistle, some meow, some snivel,
He alone merely caterwauls and prods.
Like horseshoes he forges decree after decree-
Some get it in the forehead, some in the brow,
some in the groin, and some in the eye.
Whatever the execution – it’s a raspberry to him
And his Georgian chest is broad.

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osip mandelstam poet genius series

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