Monday, June 20, 2016
Mandelstam himself writes that:
-----"[Christian art] is an 'imitation of Christ' infinitely various in its
-----manifestations, an eternal return to the single creative act that
-----began our historical era. Christian art is free. It is, in the full
-----meaning of the phrase, 'Art for art's sake.' No necessity of any
-----kind, even the highest, clouds its bright inner freedom, for its
-----prototype, that which it imitates, is the very redemption of the
-----world by Christ. And so, not sacrifice, not redemption in art,
-----but the free and joyful imitation of Christ—that is the keystone
-----of Christian esthetics."
In the 1930s, he and his wife Nadezhda were arrested by Stalin's government and sent into internal exile. In 1938 he was arrested again, and sent into exile in Siberia, which led to his death.
The following poems are from Wiman's translations - Stolen Air: Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam.
When light, failing,
Through stained glass,
The long grass
At the feet of christ,
I crawl diabolical
To the foot of the cross
To sip the infinite
An air of thriving
Like a lone cypress
To some airless
Help me, Lord, this night my life to save.
Hold me, Lord, your servant, your slave.
Hear me, O Lord, alive in Petersburg, my grave.
Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.