Mystique of the Trees
A Poem by Osip Mandelshtam
* * *
Upon that gently blue enamel,
Only conceivable in April,
Birch trees raised their filigree
Branches, twilit progressively.
A well refined and minute pattern
Wherein the finest net was caught
Of a design so aptly wrought
As if upon a china platter
Before our eyes by the dear artist
Upon a glassy firmament,
Aware of momentary strength,
Oblivious of mournful death.
Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev
Philip Nikolayev is a well-known American and Russian poet and a beginner visual artist. He edits Fulcrum: An Annual of Poetry and Aesthetics. His latest collection of poems if Letters from Aldenderry (Salt, UK).