NTA Longlist: Poems of Osip Mandelstam by Osip Mandelstam translated by Peter France

Poems of Osip Mandelstam by Osip Mandelstam, Translated from the Russian by Peter France (New Directions)

MandelstamOne of the most difficult tasks facing a translator of rhymed poetry is to equally enchant new readers with a lyrical style that conveys the original musicality. Peter France, with his wonderful selection, manages to make Osip Mandelstam’s thick and sensuous imagery resound like a pipe organ in this new translation: “A star melts in the barrel like salt, / and the ice-cold water is blacker still, / death is more pure, disaster saltier, / and earth more truthful and more terrible.” Lines such as these lure the reader into Mandelstam’s melodious world of hard-hitting beauty.

About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. Pronouns: they/them.
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