Akhmatova

Akhmatova’s sparkling prose is a discovery this morning. Someone shared it on twitter, and work day turns into poetry deep dive.

This one is an untitled poem, from her collection ‘Evening’. Words read as a poetic articulation of last year.

And when we had cursed each other,

Passionate, white hot,

We still didn’t understand

How small the earth can be for two people,

And that memory can torment savagely.

The anguish of the strong—a wasting disease!

And in the endless night the heart learns

To ask: Oh where is my departed lover?

And when, through waves of incense,

The choir thunders, exulting and threatening,

Those same eyes, inescapable,

Stare sternly and stubbornly into the soul.

– 1909

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