Dan Tindall

 
 

Poetry

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam 

I guess that makes me a very bad man

To be unaware of the human cruelty 

Of the combination of police and poets

Slowly murdering a Silver Age

Of wonder at a golden future 

Until it's found 

Stained mud with blood

Beneath an ugly watchtower 

 

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam

Nor his Stalin Epigram

Produced as evidence of his crime

 

          How scared and bitter must someone be

          To punish a poet for poetry?

 

I'd never heard of Osip Mandelstam 

But I have now 

And so have you

No excuses 

You know what to do.

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