Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"We have roped swallows together into legions"

We have roped swallows together
into legions.
Now we can't see the sun.
Everywhere nature twitters as it moves.
In the deepening twilight the earth swims into the nets
and the sun can't be seen.

But what can we lose if we try one
groaning, wide, ungainly sweep of the rudder?
The earth swims. Courage,
brothers, as the cleft sea falls back from our plow.
Even as we freeze in Lethe we'll remember
the ten heavens the earth cost us.

From "The Twilight of Freedom" by Osip Mandelstam, 1918. The complete poem is here.

Ad Marginem, Paul Klee 1930

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