Sunday, May 04, 2014

A good year for loquats

These look just about ready to eat, the biggest ones, don't you think?

I have been looking again at Osip Mandelshtam's poems again. I am at the beginning of a Kindle book of translations by James Green. I have tried other translations and never got very far with that, but these seem slightly more accessible (maybe just because these are his earliest poems; he was born in 1891!) and the book has good introductory matter, too.

And right at the beginning (before he had ever published any poems) is this short verse, 
which reminded me of these loquats I took a photo of today.

The careful muffled sound
Of a fruit breaking loose from a tree
In the middle of the continual singing
Of deep forest silence. . .    1908  (page 1)


To read only children's books, treasure
Only childish thoughts, throw
Grown-up things away
And rise from deep sorrows.

I'm tired to death of life,
I accept nothing it can give me,
But I love my poor earth
Because its the only one I've seen.

In a far-off garden I swung
On a simple wooden swing,
And I remember dark tall firs
In a hazy fever.          (1908)  (page 3)

A full hundred years and more has gone by since these poems were written, yet we still have some forests, and in them, dark tall firs. It is hard to get your mind around one hundred years!

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