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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

ANNA AKHMATOVA: 4. The Thirteen Lines

4. The Thirteen Lines

(From the "Middle Night Poems")
1963
At last, you said a word specific this,
Not such as them… who on one knee self settle,
But such as him, who broke off his fetters,
And native birches’ sacred leafage sees
Through rainbow of non-awaited tears.
And silence started sing around us,
And clear sun enlightened all the darkness,
And world transformed self for a flash, in brightness,
And strangely changed the test of earthly wines.
And even I, who’s had to take a knife
And kill the word, sent from the heavens’ highness,
In sacred awe, sank in the sacred silence – 
To let continue consecrated life.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, July, 2002


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