As much as I enjoy A.E. Housman’s serious poetry, if I could only save one item from his collected works I’m afraid it would be his hilarious parody of old-fashioned translations, “Fragment of a Greek Tragedy.” It turns out the Russian critic and translator M.L. Gasparov has rendered it into Russian, which makes me very happy; go to Avva’s comment thread and scroll down to where it’s quoted (it begins “О ты, прекраснокожанообутая/ Глава пришельца!”)
Incidentally, anyone interested in Mandelshtam should read Gasparov’s fascinating essay on the Slate Ode (what I’ve linked is the English summary, which is itself quite long; the Russian original is here). He considers it impossible to understand the poem without taking account of the history of its composition:
The fact of the matter is that, in the course of the development of the Ode, from one wording to another, its meaning changed almost to its opposite. At the beginning, the predominant concept, for Mandel’shtam, was “culture”, while towards the end it was “nature”. At the beginning, the predominant problem was the development of new poetry from old poetry, the preservation of cultural tradition; at the end it was the creation of new poetry independently of old poetry: directly from nature, from the elements. It is easy to see the connection of the above with the whole evolution of Mandel’shtam. “The early Mandel’shtam” is Acmeism, nostalgia for world culture, poems about cathedrals, Beethoven and Bach, the classicist poetics of literary allusions. “The later Mandel’shtam” is Conversation about Dante, the geological and biological imagery, the innovative poetics of unusual (almost surrealistic) word-combinations. The Slate Ode is 1923, it is the very turning-point from the earlier manner to the later, from the enthusiasm for culture to the enthusiasm for nature and the elements.