Anna Akhmatovatranslator: Judith Hemschemeyer
Somewhere there is a simple life and a world, Transparent, warm and joyful . . . There at evening a neighbour talks with a girl Across the fence, and only the bees can hear This most tender murmuring of all. But we live ceremoniously and with difficulty And we observe the rites of our bitter meetings, When suddenly the reckless wind Breaks off a sentence just begun - But not for anything would we exchange this splendid Granite city of fame and calamity, The wide rivers of glistening ice, The sunless, gloomy gardens, And, barely audible, the Muse's voice.