“I’m Not Dead Yet” by Osip Mandelstam

I’m not dead yet, nor alone—somebody
Delights in the vast majestic plain
With me—my friend the beggar lady—
And in mist, hunger, blizzard, rain.

I live calm and self-possessed,
In beautiful poverty, humble opulence.
These days and nights are blessed,
And sweet-voiced work is innocence.

Unfortunate is one who feels the chill
Of his own shadow, fears a dog’s bark, or succumbs
To the wind’s scythe—but unhappier still
Is one who, half-alive, begs the shadow for crumbs.


3 thoughts on ““I’m Not Dead Yet” by Osip Mandelstam

  1. Your writing is wonderful – it has a very classical-literature type speech.

    I often find that in my head I talk like a British woman from the time of Jane Austen… I do so enjoy it.

    Getting along then, I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading from you.

  2. Thanks. This particular one isn’t mine though – for the sake of my happy I’ll assume your compliments apply to my stuff 🙂 Although, Osip is simply delightful. Not a happy guy – but research his bio and you’ll forgive him for that.

    I should very much like to follow your blogs progress. Godspeed!

  3. Oh, I did of course mean that I enjoy the other things of yours – I just chose to comment on the latest entry.

    It’s quite the terrible feeling to be wide awake at 6AM with nothing to do but delve into wordpress. That is my current dilemma, heh.

    Thank you so much for your attention to my blog 🙂

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