Capricorn: A Self-Portrait and a Poem
For joy’s sake, from my hands
For joy’s sake, from my hands,
take some honey and some sun,
as Persephone’s bees told us.
Not to be freed, the unmoored boat.
Not to be heard, fur-booted shadows.
Not to be silenced, life’s dark terrors.
Now we only have kisses,
dry and bristling like bees,
that die when they leave the hive.
Rustling in clear glades of night,
in the dense forests of Taygetos,
time feeds them; honeysuckle; mint.
For joy’s sake take my strange gift,
this simple thread of dead, dried bees,
turned honey in the sun.
by Osip Mandelstam, born 15 January 1891, translated by AS Kline
The complete set of 12 Zodiac signs in art and poetry is available for members.
If you’re not yet a member of The Oxford Astrologer, you can join here.