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Mandelstam Quotes & Sayings

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Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

I can't think offhand of any American poets who have Mandelstam's urgency, but it's a different country and a different time, and I don't think it would make much sense to say that this is something that's "missing" from contemporary American poetry. — Christian Wiman

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I was stopped in the dense Soviet wood by bandits who called themselves my judges. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

Mandelstam is the sort of poet who comes along very, very rarely. Even the two Russian poets whose work is often linked with his - Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva - though their work is more "urgent" than most American poetry, seem to me to operate at a lesser charge than Mandelstam. — Christian Wiman

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

From childhood he had been devoted to whatever was useless, metamorphosing the streetcar rattle of life into events of consequence, and when he began to fall in love he tried to tell women about this, but they did not understand him, for which he revenged himself by speaking to them in a wild, bombastic birdy language and exclusively about the loftiest matters. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

And I walk out of space
Into an overgrown garden of values,
And tear up seeming stability
And self-comprehension of causes.
And your, infinity, textbook
I read by myself, without people -
Leafless, savage medical book,
A problem book of gigantic radicals. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Logic is the kingdom of the unexpected. To think logically means to be continually amazed. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Perhaps my whisper was already born before my lips. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

The people need poetry that will be their own secret
To keep them awake forever,
And bathe them in the bright-haired wave of its breathing. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Joseph Brodsky

Mandelstam was, one is tempted to say, a modern Orpheus: sent to hell, he never returned, while his widow dodged across one-sixth of the earth's surface, clutching the saucepan with his songs rolled up inside, memorizing them by night in the event they were found by Furies with a search warrant. These are our metamorphoses, our myths. — Joseph Brodsky

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

My turn shall also come: I sense the spreading of a wing. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I hope for a light grief in old age.
I was born in Rome and it has returned to me.
My autumn was a kind of she-wolf,
And August - the month of Caesars - smiled at me. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I love my poor earth because I have seen no other. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

A raznochinets needs no memory - it is enough for him to tell of the books he has read, and his biography is done. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Dorothy Hewett

my subconscious so full it must spill over — Dorothy Hewett

Mandelstam Quotes By Edward Hirsch

And Mandelstam says a poet - you go down to the shore and you see an unlikely looking from a bottle from the past, you open it. Mandelstam says, "It's okay to do so. I'm not reading someone else's mail. It was addressed to whoever found it. I found it, therefore it's addressed to me." — Edward Hirsch

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

If the halls of the Hermitage should suddenly go mad, if the paintings of all schools and masters should suddenly break loose from the nails, should fuse, intermingle, and fill the air of the rooms with futuristic howling and colours in violent agitation, the result then would be something like Dante's Comedy." Osip Mandelstam, "Converation with Dante — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Edwidge Danticat

There are many possible interpretations of what it means to create dangerously, and Albert Camus, like the poet Osip Mandelstam, suggests that it is creating as a revolt against silence, creating when both the creation and the reception, the writing and the reading, are dangerous undertakings, disobedience to a directive. — Edwidge Danticat

Mandelstam Quotes By Nadezhda Mandelstam

And after his death - or even before it, perhaps - he lived on in camp legend as a demented old man of seventy who had once written poetry in the outside world and was therefore nicknamed The Poet. And another old man - or was it the same one? - lived in the transit camp of Vtoraya Rechka, waiting to be shipped to Kolyma, and was thought by many people to be Osip Mandelstam - which, for all I know, he may have been. That is all I have been able to find out about the last days, illness and death of Mandelstam. Others know very much less about the death of their dear ones. — Nadezhda Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Perhaps the whisper was born before lips,
And the leaves in treelessness circled and flew,
And those, to whom we impart our experience as bliss,
Acquire their forms before we do — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

The wolfhound century leaps at my shoulders,
But I am no wolf by blood. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I don't know how it is with others, but for me the charm of a woman increases if she is a young traveler, has spent five days on a scientific trip lying on the hard bench of the Tashkent train, knows her way around in Linnaean Latin, knows which side she is on in the dispute between the Lamarckians and the epigeneticists, and is not indifferent to the soybean, cotton, or chicory. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Only in Russia poetry is respected
it gets people killed. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

We live without feeling the country beneath our feet,
our words are inaudible from ten steps away.
Any conversation, however brief,
gravitates, gratingly, toward the Kremlin's mountain man.
His greasy fingers are thick as worms,
his words weighty hammers slamming their target.
His cockroach moustache seems to snicker,
and the shafts of his high-topped boots gleam.
Amid a rabble of scrawny-necked chieftains,
he toys with the favors of such homunculi.
One hisses, the other mewls, one groans, the other weeps;
he prowls thunderously among them, showering them with scorn.
Forging decree after decree, like horseshoes,
he pitches one to the belly, another to the forehead,
a third to the eyebrow, a fourth in the eye.
Every execution is a carnival
that fills his broad Ossetian chest with delight. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Poetry is the plough that turns up time in such a way that the abyssal strata of time, its black earth, appear on the surface. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I envy everyone secretly,
I secretly love everything. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

The Armenian language cannot be worn out; its boots are stone. Well, certainly, the thick-walled words, the layers of air in the semi-vowels. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I am wearied to death with life.
There's nothing it has that I want,
but I celebrate my naked earth,
there's no other world to descant. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Nadezhda Mandelstam

I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity. — Nadezhda Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

One cannot launch a new history - the idea is altogether unthinkable; there would not be the continuity and tradition. Tradition cannot be contrived or learned. In its absence one has, at the best, not history but 'progress' - the mechanical movement of a clock hand, not the sacred succession of interlinked events. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Joseph Brodsky

It's an abominable fallacy that suffering makes for greater art. Suffering blinds, deafens, ruins, and often kills. Osip Mandelstam was a great poet before the revolution. So was Anna Akhmatova, so was Marina Tsvetaeva. They would have become what they became even if none of the historical events that befell Russia in this century had taken place: because they were gifted. Basically, talent doesn't need history. — Joseph Brodsky

Mandelstam Quotes By Nadezhda Mandelstam

When a bull is being lead to the slaughter, it still hopes to break loose and trample its butchers. Other bulls have not been able to pass on the knowledge that this never happens and that from the slaughterhouse there is no way back to the herd. But in human society there is a continuous exchange of experience. I have never heard of a man who broke away and fled while being led to his execution. It is even thought to be a special form of courage if a man about to be executed refuses to be blindfolded and dies with his eyes open. But I would rather have the bull with his blind rage, the stubborn beast who doesn't weigh his chances of survival with the prudent dull-wittedness of man, and doesn't know the despicable feeling of despair. — Nadezhda Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Nadezhda Mandelstam

The only good life is one in which there is no need for miracles. — Nadezhda Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

Mandelstam's style is not singular. He could be stately and traditional, ribald and funny, hectic, elegiac. He could handle abstractions and ideas as well as Pope or Browning but then be so musical that other poems approach pure sound. — Christian Wiman

Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

Mandelstam was an artistic genius, the sort that any century produces only a handful of. — Christian Wiman

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I do not know how it is elsewhere, but here, in this country, poetry is a healing, life-giving thing, and people have not lost the gift of being able to drink of its inner strength. People can be killed for poetry here-a sign of unparalleled respect-because they are still capable of living by it. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Nadezhda Mandelstam

On the bottom shelf M. kept the books from his childhood days: Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, the Iliad - they are described in The Noise of Time and happened to have been saved by M.'s father. Most of them later perished in Kalinin when I was fleeing from the Germans. The way we have scurried to and fro in the twentieth century, trapped between Hitler and Stalin! — Nadezhda Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Everything is moved by love. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I carry Sorrow, a grey
bird, sluggish, in my chest. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I want you now so awfully, No longer jealous-green, I bring myself as offering Up to the guillotine. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Destroy your manuscript, but save whatever you have inscribed in the margin out of boredom, out of helplessness, and, as it were, in a dream. (The Egyptian Stamp) — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

The horrors have made the legend of Mandelstam and are inevitably the lens through which we read his work and life. But if there had been no Stalin and no purge, Mandelstam still would have been a poet of severe emotional and existential extremity. — Christian Wiman

Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

I'm drawn to this range, that's for sure, but I suppose the thing that most appeals to me about Mandelstam is the sense you get from every poem that everything - the poet's very soul - is at stake. — Christian Wiman

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Take from my palms, to soothe your heart,
a little honey, a little sun,
in obedience to Persephone's bees.
You can't untie a boat that was never moored,
nor hear a shadow in its furs,
nor move through thick life without fear.
For us, all that's left is kisses
tattered as the little bees
that die when they leave the hive.
Deep in the transparent night they're still humming,
at home in the dark wood on the mountain,
in the mint and lungwort and the past.
But lay to your heart my rough gift,
this unlovely dry necklace of dead bees
that once made a sun out of honey. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

I was born in the night of the second and third
Of January, ninety-something-or-other,
An unreliable year, and the centuries
Surround me with fire. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Helen Dunmore

I could start with Mandelstam, who was a huge influence on my early writing. — Helen Dunmore

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

Where to start? Everything cracks and shakes, The air trembles with similes, No one world's better than another; the earth moans with metaphors. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

The earth is buzzing with metaphor — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Osip Mandelstam

For us, all that's left is kisses
tattered as the little bees
that die when they leave the hive. — Osip Mandelstam

Mandelstam Quotes By Christian Wiman

Mandelstam - his gift and the untamable nature of it - was like a thorn in Stalin's brain. — Christian Wiman