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Quick hearing stretches a sail;
each glance widens desolation--
and now across the calm, swims
this unsonorous chorus of birds.

I am poor as nature,
plain as heaven,
and my freedom is as false
as the voice of midnight birds.

I see a breathless moon
in a sky that's dead, like canvas.
I accept--so pitable, so strange--
this world in all its emptiness!

(Osip Mandelstam)


 

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