‘The State Shame’


The state shame of the Egyptians
was adorned with pedigree dogs –
the dead were endowed with all sorts of things
and the pyramid stuck up – a mere trifle.

He lived mischievously alongside the gothic,
and spat on the spider’s rights,
the insolent schoolboy and robber angel,
the incomparable François Villon.

–Mandelstam trans. McKane

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