Anna Akhmatova by bwordsworth
March 13, 2009, 1:03 pm
Filed under: literature, poetry

Here are three poems by a sort-of new personal hero of mine, the Acmeist poet Anna Akhmatova:

Reading Hamlet

The graveyard, wasteland, then the shore,

Where the river shines cool and blue.

You told me: “Get thee to a nunnery or

Find a fool to marry you…”

That’s the sort of thing princes say, I know,

But I’ll never forget this one, –

Like an ermine mantle let your words shine and flow

For many years, and on, and on.

Song of the Final Meeting

How helplessly chilled was my chest, yet

My footsteps were nimble and light. 

The glove that belonged on my left hand

I unconsciously put on my right. 

It seemed that the stairs were endless,

But I knew -- there were only three.

Autumn, whispering through the maples, 

Pleaded: “Die here with me!

I was blindly deceived by my dreary,

Dismal, changeable Fate.” “And I too,”

I responded, “My darling, my dear one,

And I’ll also die here with you.”

This is the song of the last, final meeting. 

I looked up at your house, all dark inside.

Just the bedroom candles burned with a fleeting,

Indifferent and yellowish light.

Hands Pressed Together Under the Veil

Hands pressed together under the veil…

“What is it that makes you so pale and faint?”

I’m afraid I intoxicated him with the ale 

Of bitter anguish and torturous pain. 

Could I forget it? He stumbled out, wavering,

His tormented mouth was twisted and grim....

I ran down the stairs, not touching the railing,

At the end of the walkway, I caught up to him.

I yelled after him: “I was kidding and only.

If you leave me today, you’ll be doing me in.”

He turned back and smiled, so intolerably calmly

And told me: “Don’t stand in the wind.”


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: