Reading these poems will make you understand why Mandelstam is so highly regarded. All 50 are well-translated works of genius. It has the best version of his (suicidal) lampoon of Stalin that I have read in translation. Reading these will make you hungry for more of his work.
as good as it gets
It should be said right at the beginning: Mandelstam is perhaps the best 20th century poet. Joseph Brodsky maybe share his place, but Brodsky is also co-author of this book - he wrote great preface for it. This anthology of Mandelstam's poems is not perfect only because it is not a collection of his complete works. However, this is a book which contains some of his best poems. Both Mandelstam and Brodsky are great examples of how true are the verses by Marina Tzvetvaeva: "In this most Christian of all worlds/ All poets are Jews." The perfection of this poetry is an evidence of the fact how great poetry once was - not a long time ago. Unfortunately, today the world have very little poets even close to Mandelstam.