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11Jul

Poem of the week: Iota and Theta … by Osip Mandelstam

The flautist’s art becomes a means to convey the mortal challenges faced by the artist in a totalitarian regime

Iota and theta, the flute
of the Greeks gives no recitals –
unsculptured and short of repute,
trench-crosser, it ripened and tightened.

You can’t let it out of your grip:
clench your teeth, you won’t subdue it.
You can’t pull its form from your lips.
No tongue can force words through it.

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