Voronezh city was a place of exile for a Russian-Jewish acmeist poet Osip Mandelstam. On Jan. 2 1937 he's writing Smile, angry lamb—a semi-accurate description for Rafael's Sacra Famiglia con l’angello. While involuntarily based in a remote province O.M. didn't have physical access neither to the originals, nor to reproductions of Rafael's work. Poems painting differs from the actual one in many ways. Soft background and fuzzy vegetation of the original is replaced by the bare and unwelcoming rocky landscape. Sky’s gentle gradient turns into a dramatic clash of sharp-edged clouds. The Lamb of God looks angry unlike Rafael's rather cheerful rendering. The text narrates a non-existent visual piece, a memorial amalgamation of multiple high culture images the exiled one is thirsting for.
Cristo acompáñame. Cristo ante mí. Cristo detrás de mí. Cristo en mí. Cristo debajo de mí. Cristo sobre mí. Cristo a mi derecha. Cristo a mi izquierda. Cristo en el corazón.
Sedientos. Tenemos sed.
— Ilya S. FEB 11, 1:53AM St. Petersburg