Sunday, August 19, 2007

What Silence Is

Painting by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

—Osip Mandelstam

Nobody knows what silence is.
Silence is words and music.
It's the thing that links all things alive,
the link that lasts forever.

Let me open my mouth and let nothing come out,
silent as an unborn baby.
Let me be a perfect crystal note
that lasts unchanged forever!

Do nothing, love, don't ever change.
Change only words to music.
And let my heart of hearts grow still
as a life I can barely remember.