Insomnia, Homer, taut sails, by Osip Mandelshtam
|July 7, 2020||Posted By Natasha Bershadsky listed under A purple ball: on Eros and Aphrodite, CI Poetry Project, Mandelshtam's Homer||
Translated by Philip Nikolayev
Insomnia, Homer, taut sails: my lips have lisped
Down to the middle the detailed list of ships,
That long brood and angular train of cranes
That rose above Hellas once on wings of waves.
A wedge of cranes into far foreign lands –
Divine white froth forming upon kings’ heads –
Where have you hoist sail to? If it were not for Helen
What would Troy alone be to you, Achaean men?
The sea and Homer – as all – are moved by love;
Which should I hark? Homer the first to fall
Silent, the black sea’s cries still rhapsodize,
Reaching to where I lie with sleep-filled eyes.
Drawing by Hannah Wachs, done especially for Magnetic Links