Friday, February 16, 2007

Poetry Friday: Mandelstam

This isn't the first time I've quoted one of my favorite Russian poets, Osip Mandelstam, for Poetry Friday. Today I'm contributing his "Self-Portrait," an eight-line poem that wholly expresses the poetic drive. I'm a prose girl myself, but I've known a few poets in my life and, it seems to me, Mandelstam has got it right.


A hint of wing in the lifted
head. But the coat's flapping.
In the closed eyes, arms' quiet,
there's nervous energy hiding.

Here's one who flies and sings,
and the word, in flames, hammered,
until congenital awkwardness,
by inborn rhythm's conquered.

Translation by A.S. Kline.

I'm up for the round up this week, so drop me your comments or an e-mail!
Hey! Fuse is in with a Louise Erdrich poem and a fabulous story.

Michele shares from A Midsummer's Night Dream at Scholar's Blog.

Jules contributes some Jane Kenyon in a valentine's post at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

In an incredible case of kismet Mitali's shares the same Kenyon poem while she (Mitali) is working, working, working on the work she loves.

Yay! Gregory K. has another Oddaptation up at GottaBook. This time it's The Carrot Seed.

Elaine reviews Leah Wilcox's Falling for Rapunzel and contributes her own awesome poem, "Queen Speaking to Rumpelstiltskin When He Returns to Claim Her Firstborn Child ."

Liz celebrates the Queen of Noticing--Mary Oliver--at Liz in Ink.

Kelly Fineman discusses Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark" in a fascinating post.

Little Willow quotes from Reaching for Sun, by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a Middle Grade novel in verse she says we all must read at Bildungsroman.

Adrienne contributes "When Skies Are Low and Days Are Dark" from Snowman Sniffles, by N.M. Bodecker, at What Adrienne Thinks About That.

Miss Erin shares Roald Dahl's funny, smart "The Pig."

Jone reviews Joyce Sidman's Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow over at Check it Out (new address). Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow just won a Cybils award for Poetry.

Mindy tells us all about a totally cool Victorian Poetry slam in Minneapolis at

A Year of Reading is in with The Cremation of Sam McGee. (I know it's cold, guys, but let's not take it too far!) They've also provided some excellent links, including a link to audio of Johnny Cash reciting the poem.

Greg T. joins in the fun with an original poem set to She Loves You, by the Beatles.

Liz B. shares Edna St. Vincent Millay (and more) at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy.