151st Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 151st Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Also, sign up for the 2012 Fearless Poetry Reading Challenge because its simple; you only need to read 1 book of poetry. Please visit the stops on the 2012 National Poetry Month Blog Tour.

Today’s poem is from Osip Mandelstam’s Stolen Air:

Mandelstam Lane (Page 54)

What the hell sort of street is this?
Mandelstam Lane.
Diabolical name!
Twist and twist
And it all comes out the same:
More kinked than the kinks in a madman's brain.

Well, a ruler he was not.
I'll say, and his morals hardly lily.
And that's why this street,
Or rut, really,
Or pit pickaxed to the tune of Goddamn! --
Goes by the name of Mandelstam.

What do you think?


  1. The rhythm created by the word choice and rhyme give this poem a bit of a grungy feel. It then gave me a chuckle when I realized that he’s maligning a street with his own name.

    I knew nothing about this poet so I did a quick search, which left me feeling that this poem may indeed be much deeper than I thought. Or not.

    Like Anna, I’m not overly fond of doggerel, but there are times when it best creates the proper mood.

  2. For me, the rhymes were really distracting, but you know that I’m not a fan of rhyming poems.