Tell me, Desert Draftsman

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And the toothed paw of the maple Octets (IX) ~ Tell me, Desert Draftsman…
written by Osip Mandelstam
From needle-shaped pestilential glasses
From Moscow Notebooks. See also Poems. Translated from Russian by Dmitri Smirnov. In Russian: Скажи мне, чертежник пустыни. Link to further information


Tell me, Desert Draftsman,
Geometer of the quicksands,
Is it true, that unrestrained lines
Are more powerful than the blowing wind?
5 — I don't care about the trembling
Of his Judaic troubles. —
He shapes experience from babble,
And drinks babble from the experience.

November 1933, Moscow

Cc-by.jpgCc-non commercial.jpg © Dmitri Smirnov, translation. Can be reproduced if non-commercial.