Treasure Island

Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

(1891 - 1938 / Warsaw)

I am sorry it is winter now


I am sorry it is winter now,
And you can't hear mosquitoes in the house,
But you reminded yourself
Of the frivolous straw.

The dragonflies hover in the blue sky,
And fashion twirls like a swallow;
A basket on the head,
Or a bombastic ode?

I don't presume to give advice
And useless excuses,
But the taste of whipped cream
And the smell of oranges is forever.

You define everything without thinking,
And things are the worse for it.
What can you do? The most sensitive mind
Is put wholly on the surface.

You try to beat the yolk
With an angry spoon.
It grew white, it succumbed.
Yet just a little more.

In you everything teases, everything sings
Like an Italian roulade,
And a small cherry mouth
Demands some dry grapes.

Don't try so hard to be smart,
In you everything is whimsy, fleeting,
And in the shadow from your cap,
A Venetian bautta.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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