For this year's Fall Equinox Poetry Circle of the Air Molly Peacock has chosen a really edgy poem written by the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam in 1918, on the heels of the Bolshevik Revolution. Very hard-hitting; has much to say about our own sense of sturm und drang in this highly pivotal political year.
Selected Poem: THE TWILIGHT OF FREEDOM
By Osip Mandelstam, translation by David McDuff
Let us celebrate, my brothers, freedom's twilight,
the great twilight year.
Into the seething waters of night
a heavy wood of snares is lowered.
You are arising into dead years
O sun, my judges, people.
Let us celebrate the fateful load
the people's leader takes upon himself in tears
the twilight burden that is power,
its intolerable weight.
In whom there is a heart, he must hear, time,
the sinking to the seabed of your ship.
Into fanatic legions
we have bound swallows—and now
the sun cannot be seen; the firmament
chatters, slides, is alive.
Through nets—thick twilight—
the sun cannot be seen, the earth is sailing.
Then let us try: enormous, cumbersome,
one screeching turn of the wheel.
The earth is sailing. Be manful, men.
As with a plow, dividing up the ocean,
we will remember even the Lethean cold
that the earth has cost us ten heavens.
- Molly Peacock, poet and author of five books of poetry, including "The Second Blush" and "Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems"