Nina Bernagozzi


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Fauve century, my shepherd

tribute to the poem Vek, by Ossip Mandelstam

How the poet-shepherd dreams.

Fauve century, my shepherd (tribute to the poem Vek, by Ossip Mandelstam) / inks on paper / 162 x 100 cm et 170 x 100 cm / 2020

view of  Ianua exhibition, galerie Jousse Entreprise, 2022

My century, my beast, who can
Look you straight in the eyes
And weld with his blood
The vertebrae of two centuries?

As long as the creature lives
She must carry her own vertebrae,
The undulations are played
Of the invisible spine.
Like a child's tender cartilage,
This is how the newborn century is
Of the earth.

To free the century in chains
To give a beginning to the new world
It is necessary to join the flute
The gnarled knees of the days.

But your spine is broken
My poor stunned century.
With a foolish smile
Like a once supple beast
You turn backwards, stupid and cruel,
To contemplate your own traces.


(the century) - poem from Ossip Mandelstam - 1922

Extracts/ some stanzas

© Nina Bernagozzi-2019 / Cannot be used without permission.