Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

(1891 - 1938 / Warsaw)

The Stalin Epigram - Poem by Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

Our lives no longer feel ground under them.
At ten paces you can't hear our words.

But whenever there's a snatch of talk
it turns to the Kremlin mountaineer,

the ten thick worms his fingers,
his words like measures of weight,

the huge laughing cockroaches on his top lip,
the glitter of his boot-rims.

Ringed with a scum of chicken-necked bosses
he toys with the tributes of half-men.

One whistles, another meows, a third snivels.
He pokes out his finger and he alone goes boom.

He forges decrees in a line like horseshoes,
One for the groin, one the forehead, temple, eye.

He rolls the executions on his tongue like berries.
He wishes he could hug them like big friends from home.

Topic(s) of this poem: history

Form: Epigram


Comments about The Stalin Epigram by Osip Emilevich Mandelstam

  • (11/26/2017 11:05:00 AM)

    Very bad translation (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 29, 2015



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