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Mandelstam, Osip

· The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam · Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam · Journey to Armenia by Osip Mandelstam · Earthly Signs. Moscow Diaries, 1917-1922 by Marina Tsvetaeva · OSIP MANDELSTAM: I DETEST THE LIGHT · Osip Mandelstam: Sisters heaviness and tenderness…

The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam is a central figure not only in modern Russian but in world poetry, the author of some of the most haunting and memorable poems of the twentieth century.

A contemporary of Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetayeva, and Boris Pasternak, a touchstone for later masters such as Paul Celan and Robert Lowell, Mandelstam was a crucial instigator of the “revolution of the word” that took place in St. Petersburg, only to be crushed by the Bolshevik Revolution. Mandelstam’s last poems, written in the interval between his exile to the provinces by Stalin and his death in the Gulag, are an extraordinary testament to the endurance of art in the presence of terror.

This book represents a collaboration between the scholar Clarence Brown and W. S. Merwin, one of contemporary America’s finest poets and translators. It also includes Mandelstam’s “Conversation on Dante,” an uncategorizable work of genius containing the poet’s deepest reflections on the nature of the poetic process.

Osip Mandelstam (1891–1938) was born and raised in St. Petersburg, where he attended the prestigious Tenishev School, before studying at the universities of St. Petersburg and Heidelberg and at the Sorbonne. Mandelstam first published his poems in Apollyon, an avant-garde magazine, in 1910, then banded together with Anna Akhmatova and Nicholas Gumilev to form the Acmeist group, which advocated an aesthetic of exact description and chiseled form, as suggested by the title of Mandelstam’s first book, Stone (1913).

During the Russian Revolution, Mandelstam left Leningrad for the Crimea and Georgia, and he settled in Moscow in 1922, where his second collection of poems, Tristia, appeared. Unpopular with the Soviet authorities, Mandelstam found it increasingly difficult to publish his poetry, though an edition of collected poems did come out in 1928. In 1934, after reading an epigram denouncing Stalin to friends, Mandelstam was arrested and sent into exile. He wrote furiously during these years, and his wife, Nadezhda, memorized his work in case his notebooks were destroyed or lost. (Nadezhda Mandelstam’s extraordinary memoirs of life with her husband, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned, published in the 1970s, later helped to bring Mandelstam a worldwide audience.)

Clarence Brown is the author of a prize-winning biography of Mandelstam and is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton.

W.S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Portugal, and Majorca. He has since lived in many parts of the world, most recently on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. He is the author of many books of poems, prose, and translations and has received both the Pulitzer and the Bollingen Prizes for poetry, among numerous other awards.

The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam
by Osip Mandelstam, translated from the Russian by Clarence Brown and by W.S. Merwin
Paperback
Series: New York Review Books Classics
Pages: 192
Publ. Date: August 31, 2004
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590170911
ISBN-13: 978-1590170915

Books That Everyone Should Read
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Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam is one of the greatest of twentieth-century poets and Voronezh Notebooks, a sequence of poems composed between 1935 and 1937 when he was living in internal exile in the Soviet city of Voronezh, is his last and most exploratory work.

Meditating on death and survival, on power and poetry, on marriage, madness, friendship, and memory, challenging Stalin between lines that are full of the sights and sounds of the steppes, blue sky and black earth, the roads, winter breath, spring with its birds and flowers and bees, the notebooks are a continual improvisation and an unapologetic affirmation of poetry as life.

Russia’s greatest poet in this century. — Joseph Brodsky

Mandelstam was a tragic figure. Even while in exile in Voronej, he wrote works of untold beauty and power. And he had no poetic forerunners… In all of world poetry, I know of no other such case. We know the sources of Pushkin and Blok, but who will tell us from where that new, divine harmony, Mandelstam’s poetry, came from? — Anna Akhmatova

Voronezh Notebooks by Osip Mandelstam,
translated from the Russian and with an introduction by Andrew Davis
ISBN: 9781590179109
Pages: 128
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Series: NYRB Poets
The New York Review of Books
Paperback

Books That Everyone Should Read
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More in: - Book Lovers, - Book Stories, Achmatova, Anna, Archive M-N, Brodsky, Joseph, Mandelstam, Osip, REPRESSION OF WRITERS, JOURNALISTS & ARTISTS, TRANSLATION ARCHIVE


Journey to Armenia by Osip Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam visited Armenia in 1930, and during the eight months of his stay, he rediscovered his poetic voice and was inspired to write an experimental meditation on the country and its ancient culture.

This edition also includes the companion piece, “Conversation About Dante,” which Seamus Heaney called “Osip Mandelstam’s astonishing fantasia on poetic creation.” An incomparable apologia for poetic freedom and a challenge to the Bolshevik establishment, the essay was dictated by the poet to his wife, Nadezhda Mandelstam, in 1934 and 1935, during the last phase of his itinerant life. It has close ties to the Journey to Armenia.

Osip Mandelstam (1891–1938) was born and raised in St. Petersburg, where he attended the prestigious Tenishev School, before studying at the universities of St. Petersburg and Heidelberg and at the Sorbonne.

Mandelstam first published his poems in Apollyon, an avant-garde magazine, in 1910, then banded together with Anna Akhmatova and Nicholas Gumilev to form the Acmeist group, which advocated an aesthetic of exact description and chiseled form, as suggested by the title of Mandelstam’s first book, Stone (1913). During the Russian Revolution, Mandelstam left Leningrad for the Crimea and Georgia, and he settled in Moscow in 1922, where his second collection of poems, Tristia, appeared.

Unpopular with the Soviet authorities, Mandelstam found it increasingly difficult to publish his poetry, though an edition of collected poems did come out in 1928. In 1934, after reading an epigram denouncing Stalin to friends, Mandelstam was arrested and sent into exile. He wrote furiously during these years, and his wife, Nadezhda, memorized his work in case his notebooks were destroyed or lost. (Nadezhda Mandelstam’s extraordinary memoirs of life with her husband, Hope Against Hope and Hope Abandoned, published in the 1970s, later helped to bring Mandelstam a worldwide audience.

Journey to Armenia by Osip Mandelstam,
introduction by Henry Gifford,
translated from the Russian by Sydney Monas, Clarence Brown, and Robert Hughes
Series: Notting Hill Editions
ISBN: 9781907903472
Pages: 192
Publication Date in Hardcover:
September 25, 2018

new books
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More in: - Book News, - Book Stories, Archive M-N, Art & Literature News, Mandelstam, Osip, REPRESSION OF WRITERS, JOURNALISTS & ARTISTS


Earthly Signs. Moscow Diaries, 1917-1922 by Marina Tsvetaeva

A moving collection of autobiographical essays from a Russian poet and refugee of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Marina Tsvetaeva ranks with Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Boris Pasternak as one of Russia’s greatest twentieth-century poets. Her suicide at the age of forty-eight was the tragic culmination of a life buffeted by political upheaval.

The essays collected in this volume are based on diaries she kept during the turbulent years of the Revolution and Civil War.

In them she records conversations of women in the markets, soldiers and peasants on the train traveling from the Crimea to Moscow in October 1917, fighting in the streets of Moscow, a frantic scramble with co-workers to dig frozen potatoes out of a cellar, and poetry readings organized by a newly minted Soviet bohemia.

Alone in Moscow with two small children, no income, and a missing husband, Tsvetaeva struggled to feed her daughters (one of whom died of malnutrition in an orphanage), find employment in the Soviet bureaucracy, and keep writing poetry. Her keen and ruthless eye observes with compassion and humor—bringing the social, economic, and cultural chaos of the period to life. These autobiographical writings not only give a vivid eyewitness account of Russian history but provide vital insights into the workings of Tsvetaeva’s unique poetics.

Includes black and white photographs.

Earthly Signs
Moscow Diaries, 1917-1922
By Marina Tsvetaeva
Translated by Jamey Gambrell
Poetry
Paperback
Dec 05, 2017
288 Pages
Paperback
$17.95
Published by NYRB Classics
ISBN 9781681371627

new books
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More in: - Book News, Achmatova, Anna, Archive S-T, Archive S-T, Art & Literature News, Mandelstam, Osip, Pasternak, Boris, REPRESSION OF WRITERS, JOURNALISTS & ARTISTS, Tsvetaeva, Marina


OSIP MANDELSTAM: I DETEST THE LIGHT

Mandelstam

Osip Mandelstam

(1891-1938)

I detest the light…

 

I detest the light

Of tedious stars.

Hello, my old delirium,

The tower’s crenellated pinnacle!

 

Stone, turn to lace

Become a spider’s web,

With your thin needle, wound

The empty breast of the sky.

 

My own turn will come,

I feel the stretching of my wings.

But where will the arrow

Of living thought fly?

 

Perhaps having used up my path,

And my time, I will come back:

– There I could not love,

– Here I fear to love . . .

 

1912

Osip Mandelstam poetry

Transl. J.A. Woolf

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Osip Mandelstam: Sisters heaviness and tenderness…

Osip Mandelstam

(1891-1938)

 

 

Сестры – тяжесть и нежность…

Сестры – тяжесть и нежность – одинаковы ваши приметы.

Медуницы и осы тяжелую розу сосут.

Человек умирает. Песок остывает согретый,

И вчерашнее солнце на черных носилках несут.

 

Ах, тяжелые соты и нежные сети,

Легче камень поднять, чем имя твое повторить!

У меня остается одна забота на свете:

Золотая забота, как времени бремя избыть.

 

Словно темную воду, я пью помутившийся воздух.

Время вспахано плугом, и роза землею была.

В медленном водовороте тяжелые нежные розы,

Розы тяжесть и нежность в двойные венки заплела!

 

 

Sisters heaviness and tenderness…

Sisters heaviness and tenderness, your traits are one.

Bees and wasps suck the heavy rose.

Man dies. The heated sand cools,

And a black stretcher bears away yesterday’s sun.

 

Ah, heavy honeycombs and tender seines,

One may sooner lift a stone than say your name!

For me a sole concern remains on earth:

A golden concern, to flee the burden of time.

 

I drink the clouded air like a dark stream.

Time’s tilled by a plow, and a rose was the earth.

In the slow whirlpool are heavy, tender roses,

Weaving heaviness and tenderness into twin wreaths.

1920


Osip Mandelstam poetry

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