Treasure Island

Anna Akhmatova

(23 June 1889 – 5 March 1966 / Odessa)

Celebrate


Celebrate our anniversary – can’t you see
tonight the snowy night of our first winter
comes back again in every road and tree -
that winter night of diamantine splendour.

Steam is pouring out of yellow stables,
the Moika river’s sinking under snow,
the moonlight’s misted as it is in fables,
and where we are heading – I don’t know.

There are icebergs on the Marsovo Pole.
The Lebyazh’ya’s crazed with crystal art.....
Whose soul can compare with my soul,
if joy and fear are in my heart? -

And if your voice, a marvellous bird’s,
quivers at my shoulder, in the night,
and the snow shines with a silver light,
warmed by a sudden ray, by your words?

Submitted: Tuesday, January 21, 2003

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  • Mary Angela Douglas (8/8/2009 2:19:00 PM)

    It should be understood by all dear readers I think, that Anna Akhmatova is legendary in the history of world poetry, not only in Russian poetry, although her poetic presence in the Russian language is eminent enough. She stands alone, in classical profile in the history of lyric poetry, particularly, the history of lament. The most personal poetry and at the same time, the most universal. If you want to know how important it is to totalitarian rulers to stifle the pure, lyric voice, find out about the Zdhanov decree and how they called her obscene names just for speaking from her own soul (and ultimately, the soul of Russia, as many Russians would agree) . All this shows that the aim of totalitarianism in any form is to obliterate the soul. Tell me there is not a war between good and evil and that God is not real after you read her life, also, the life of Osip Mandelstam, and I will never believe you. All this is beyond political. It all comes down to the human (your) soul. God be with all living poets on this earth and in the life to come. (Report) Reply

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