Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Bees and wasps suck the heavy rose."

Heaviness and tenderness—sisters: the same features.
Bees and wasps suck the heavy rose.
Man dies, heat leaves the sand, the sun
of yesterday is borne on a black stretcher.

Oh the heavy honeycomb, the tender webs—easier
to hoist a stone than to say your name!
Only one purpose is left me, but it is golden:
to free myself of the burden, time.

I drink the roiled air like a dark water.
Time has been plowed; the rose was earth. In a slow
whirlpool the heavy tender roses,
rose heaviness, rose tenderness, are plaited in double wreaths.

~ Osip Mandelstam, from Selected Poems

Mutter und Sohn, Otto Mueller, 1919

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