This is What I Want Most, by Osip Mandelstam. Translated by A. S. Kline

Mandelstam_1914-b

This is what I most want

This is what I most want

un-pursued, alone

to reach beyond the light

that I am furthest from.

And for you to shine there-

no other happiness-

and learn, from starlight,

what its fire might suggest.

A star burns as a star,

light becomes light,

because our murmuring

strengthens us, and warms the night.

And I want to say to you

my little one, whispering,

I can only lift you towards the light

by means of this babbling.

Note: Written for his wife, Nadezhda.

More of Kline’s translations of Mandelstam: Osip Mandelstam