Devant un tigre, ça ne servirais a rien d'être enthousiaste et aimant,et pourtant spontanément...ce serait merveilleux!La compassion comme dans ce dessin , se serait presque une solution, mais encore faudrait-il une échéance...et la certitude qu'il n'y a pas d'échappatoire; tout a fait impossible pour des êtres nourris au compte goutte de l'espoir. Au fond c'est aussi bête que d'attendre une réponse quand on a poser aucune question. La douce bêtise des choses merveilleuses qui continuent de surprendre, de bondir sans économie - les étoiles filantes, les arcs-en-ciel, rire aux larmes, la mer qui ronronne, la justesse, la conscience de l'instant (et pas seulement de soi), la sincérité, les tigres - Elles sont libres, elles sont bêtes...Par méchanceté, Il nous suffirai de si peu pour les rendre malheureuses. Au fond, il suffit simplement qu'elles voient les cages qu'on leur réservent ...mais elles sont si bêtes, si miraculeusement bêtes! Alors voila, je suis noyé dans cette compassion constante pour les hommes, nus, violents, pleins d'espoir et qui un jour dormirons eux-aussi, comme les milliards d'entre nous, sous nos pieds, cendres, poussières qui ne disent plus rien. g


...is by drowning or burning.


There is no need for words:
nothing must be heard.
How sad, and fine,
an animal’s dark mind.

Nothing it must make heard:
it has no use for words,
a young dolphin, plunging, steep,
along the world’s grey deep.


This is what I most want

unpursued, alone
to reach beyond the light
that I am furthest from.

And for you to shine there-
no other happiness-
and learn, from starlight,
what its fire might suggest.
A star burns as a star,
light becomes light,
because our murmuring
strengthens us, and warms the night.

And I want to say to you
my little one, whispering,
I can only lift you towards the light
by means of this babbling.

A flame is in my blood

burning dry life,
to the bone.
I do not sing of stone,
now, I sing of wood.

It is light and coarse:
made of a single spar,
the oak’s deep heart,
and the fisherman’s oar.

Drive them deep, the piles:
hammer them in tight,
around wooden Paradise,
where everything is light.

My beast, my age,
who will try
to look you in the eye,
and weld the vertebrae
of century to century,
with blood? Creating blood
pours out of mortal things:
only the parasitic shudder,
when the new world sings.

As long as it still has life,
the creature lifts its bone,
and, along the secret line
of the spine, waves foam.
Once more life’s crown,
like a lamb, is sacrificed,
cartilage under the knife -
the age of the new-born.

To free life from jail,
and begin a new absolute,
the mass of knotted days
must be linked by means of a flute.
With human anguish
the age rocks the wave’s mass,
and the golden measure’s hissed
by a viper in the grass.

And new buds will swell, intact,
the green shoots engage,
but your spine is cracked
my beautiful, pitiful, age.

And grimacing dumbly, you writhe,
look back, feebly, with cruel jaws,
a creature, once supple and lithe,
at the tracks left by your paws.


Brothers, let us glorify
freedom's twilight –
the great, darkening year.
Into the seething waters of the night
heavy forests of nets disappear
O Sun, judge, people, your light
is rising over sombre years

Let us glorify the deadly weight
the people's leader lifts with tears.
Let us glorify the dark burden of fate,
power's unbearable yoke of fears.
How your ship is sinking, straight,
he who has a heart, Time, hears.

We have bound swallows
into battle legions - and we,
we cannot see the sun: nature's boughs
are living, twittering, moving, totally:
through the nets –the thick twilight - now
we cannot see the sun, and Earth floats free.

Let's try: a huge, clumsy, turn then

of the creaking helm, and, see -
Earth floats free. Take heart, O men.
Slicing like a plough through the sea,
Earth, to us, we know, even in Lethe's icy fen,
has been worth a dozen heavens' eternity.

all Poems: Osip Mandleshtam
photos: Andres Otero, Dennis Van Doorn