‘I have learned the art of departure
in loose-haired lamentations of the night.’

Osip Mandelstam ‘Tristia’, 1918

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what is left, when we have left,
what lustre spills into the air,
whose wraith disturbs the dust of memory

the ethereal descent into rocks and rivers,
earth’s benediction,
a thin wind feeds on grasses and herbs,
the valley statuesque,
the sky mute

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