oetry foldiNg OsIP oSiP

In a discussion concerning the distinction between Book and Notebook, Nadezhda Mandelstam makes this comment about the collection which goes under the name of Tristia. Turns out that it was not assembled by Mandelstam.

" In his younger days M had used the word "book" in the sense of "phase." In 1919 he thought he would be the author of one book only, but then he realized that there was a division between Stone and the poems that came to be known under the general title Tristia. This title, incidentally, was given to the collection by Kuzmin, and the book itself is a miscellany of jumbled-up manuscripts taken to Berlin by the publisher without M's knowledge. " Hope Against Hope page 192.

She is not critical about this fact (what a relief not to have criticism!) , but simply points it out and in the next chapter of the book, Cycle 41, she continues to discuss the poems, and their relation to M's sense of phases, and what it was that constituted a book for him, or a cycle of verses and the interplay between the varied strands .

--------------------- I came across this striking cover of Tristia. It would be interesting to know how the editions of M';s have fared since she wrote her memoir, and how this edition came to be. Did the editors know that the poems in it were not organized by the poet, and if they did, how did they consider this?

__________________________________ this photo of Mandelstam in a happier moment ~

One must not forget the great Joy in the Poet,

and the self - humour of laughter
in spite of all ~

(them versers that
themselves to o
seriouslee become
bad poets)

"TRISTIA", d'Ossip Mandelstam. Livre de poésies publié aux éditions "Pétropolis" (Berlin- St Pétersbourg) en 1922, à 3 000 exemplaires dont 100 numérotés. Illustration de la couverture de
Mstislav Doboujinsky.

'The past and the present do not denote two successive moments, but two elements that coexist' ... Professor Deleuze on Bergson

so each past of the poem
runs ahead to its future
in the receiving loving hands of its reader

So all poem co-existing in the folding and un

"Only in Russia is poetry respected – it gets people killed. Is there anywhere else where poetry is so common a motive for murder? "- M says this to Nadia in Hope against Hope.... that is, Mandelestam says this to his wife.

(ah, but they say the time 's changed Osip but it's not its everywhere this killing)

indeed ~ Russians receive poetry vividly ~ in bushels of heaps it ~ and take it to heart. we once did . memorizing , thank god, huge swathes of verse ~

George Stein er in a talk I heard once speaks of Russian audiences reciting along with a poet as he recited to the em one of Shakespeare's sonnets...

Now that must have been

what beauty
and audience
of 4000 or more
reciting together


Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

but we amnesiacs recall in fragments of bitter pieced our memory and memorized snippings...

us aphasiacs an failures

us readers of delirium....

------------------------ Steiner the impassioned polyglot

and Wordsworth too was able to cite from memory great chunks of poetry ....

but us half wits we can barely read our reaching hands spacing for text.....

now having said all that terribly sad truth

one has to imagine another side to the memorization view and the sometimes specious
perspective which claims poetry was once based on oral traditions... true as it is.....

One cannot imagine Finnegans Wake being memorized and handed down

even by the author....

It had to be written

and its written-ness is

its memorization

the writing is the memorization
and the fact of
ecriture is the act of heart and variety which makes its

memory as text the tongue licking backward as its speaking self composes
the written word ~

hands which love
hands which hold
and those that clutch
most living those hands
which write...
(this is a memory of a verse by Tzara written
in the 50's).


I've also come across this blog

devoted to reading Russian books Lizok's Bookshelf

and this connecting bridge to the Anna Akhamtova Museum

------------------------ et voila Tristia
Recited in the original Russian, followed by a reading of Joseph Brodsky's English translation

The act of writing is memorization. The text as written is already the memorized tradition. The reading writing tradition and the
oral forgotten

________________________ __________________________________ poets, including myself, should not be

afraid to make mistakes, in deed we ought to make big ones the bigger the better the larger the wider as the tongue's far and wide _______________________
beside which we make them anyhows. as tense to verb is clutter to vein, and vain is not vase to its hoped for rip. the mouth roars, the god calls yes
the god calls ~ _________________________


tell us

_________________ _______

 tell us about your trips to:

1: Lebanon,

   Luxembourg, Spain, Gibraltar,

2: Denmark,    ____( Greenland?)

3: Holland

4: Norway

5: England

6: Wales

7: Ireland

8: Iceland

9: Finland

10 Latvia

11: Estonia and Lithuania

12 Russia

13: Mongolia,

14: China,

15 South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos,

16 Japan

17 Indonesia, Micronesia Philippines,

18   Indian ocean adorning ,    

                                                                   South sea island off here an there,

                     (the islands later of the Caribbean)

      was that the Atlantic or Atlantis bearing there  under all and sheathed?

19 A tour boat off  the coast of Antarctica,

20 India,

21 Nepal,

22 Former eastern countries

of former so called eastern block ,

23  France,  to see ___  and to _____Genoa, Naples, Florence,

                                           Budapest               Berlin,

24: Did you forget Sweden

      How could I how could I

  or India ancient of the vales,


Don't forget Bulgaria nor Albania

and how about Zagreb?


                 and this spot or that one tucked off behind an island, a mist far forged,



 and the plains or tundra Siberia,

 (Poland, O yes Poland a country and a half and more to explain )

and other spots near the Adriatic coast,

 tiny hideaways,

wee villages,

with trombone players

and lovers

trumpeting her wares,


(for old gods,)

(perhaps older)



     South Africa,


And New Zealand,

 South America,

 the Andes, Peru,

  Paraguay, Brazil,



 a whole array of continents and   coigns, countries and cities

                 with languages abounding,