She has yet to be born:
she is music and word,
and she eternally bonds
all life in this world.

The sea breathes gently;
the day glitters wildly.
A bowl of dazed azure
sways pale foam-lilac.

May I too reach back
to that ancient silence,
like a note of crystal
pure from its source.

Stay, Aphrodite, as foam.
Return, word, to music.
Heart, be shy of heart,
fused with life’s root.

– Osip Mandelstam. Silentium

translated by Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk

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