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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

Our Native Earth

1961

There are not any people in the world --
So simple, lofty, tearless -- like us.

1922
We do not carry it in lockets on the breast,
And do not cry about it in poems,
It does not wake us from the bitter rest,
And does not seem to us like Eden promised.
In our hearts, we never try to treat
This as a subject for the bargain row,
While being ill, unhappy, spent on it,
We even fail to see it or to know.
    Yes, this dirt on the feet suits us fairly,
    Yes, this crunch on the teeth suits us just,
    And we trample it nightly and daily --
    This unmixed and non-structural dust.
But we lay into it and become it alone,
And therefore call this earth so freely -- my own.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2000
Edited by Orit Bonver, August 2000

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