Osip Mandelstam

Like Rembrandt

Like Rembrandt, chiaroscuro’s martyr,

I’ve gone deep into time’s numbness,

The sharpness of my burning rib

Protected neither by these watchmen nor

By this sentry asleep beneath the storm.

Forgive me, great brother, master,

Father of the black-green darkness,

The eye of the falcon’s quill-feather

And the hot casks in the harem at midnight

Cause confusion, confusion to the tribe,

The troubled tribe in furs at twilight.

— translated from the Russian by Seth Zimmerman