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More poems by Anna AkhmatovaAnna Akhmatova | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Anna AkhmatovaBooks by Anna Akhmatova

In Memory of M. B.

Anna Akhmatova

Here is my gift, not roses on your grave,
not sticks of burning incense.
You lived aloof, maintaining to the end
your magnificent disdain.
You drank wine, and told the wittiest jokes,
and suffocated inside stifling walls.
Alone you let the terrible stranger in,
and stayed with her alone.

Now you're gone, and nobody says a word
about your troubled and exalted life.
Only my voice, like a flute, will mourn
at your dumb funeral feast.
Oh, who would have dared believe that half-crazed I,
I, sick with grief for the buried past,
I, smoldering on a slow fire,
having lost everything and forgotten all,
would be fated to commemorate a man
so full of strength and will and bright inventions,
who only yesterday it seems, chatted with me,
hiding the tremor of his mortal pain.


Translated by Stanley Kunitz (with Max Hayward)

Added: 19 Aug 2001 | Last Read: 11 Dec 2018 12:57 PM | Viewed: 7938 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4/ | Viewed on 11 December 2018.
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