‘I raise this greenery to my lips –’ (Osip Mandelstam)
I raise this greenery to my lips –
these leaves glued into an oath –
with the perjurous earth that bore snowdrops,
mother of the maples and oaks.
Watch me grow strong and blind,
as I follow these humble roots.
What a park! My eyes come alive
now thunder is passing through.
Like beads of mercury, frogs
make a globe of voices, linked together;
branches form from twigs
and a milky figment from cold breath.
30 April 1937
Mandelstam once wrote – I am both a gardener and a flower I am, too;
In the prison of the world, I am not alone.