Anna Akhmatova. White Flock
Copyright Anna Akhmatova
Copyright English translation by Ilya Shambat
* I *
We thought we were beggars, we thought we had nothing at all
But then when we started to lose one thing after another,
Each day became
A memorial day –
And then we made songs
Of great divine generosity
And of our former riches.
I’ll leave your quiet yard and your white house –
Let life be empty and with light complete.
I’ll sing the glory to you in my verse
Like not one woman has sung glory yet.
And that dear girlfriend you remember
In heaven you created for her sight,
I’m trading product that is very rare –
I sell your tenderness and loving light.
Song about Song
So many stones have been thrown at me
I don’t fear them any longer
Like elegant tower the westerner stands free
Among tall towers, the taller.
I’m grateful to their builders – so be gone
Their sadness and their worry, go away,
Early from here I can see the dawn
And here triumphant lives the sun’s last ray.
And frequently into my room’s window
The winds from northern seas begin to blow
And pigeon from my palms eats wheat..
The pages that I did not complete
Divinely light she is and calm,
Will finish Muse’s suntanned arm.
X x x
Just like a cold noreaster
At first she’ll sting,
And then a single salty tear
The heart will wring.
The evil heart will pity
Something and then regret.
But this light-headed sadness
It will not forget.
I only sow. To harvest.
Others will come. And yes!
The lovely group of harvesters
May true God bless.
And that more perfectly I could
Give to you gratitude,
Allow me to give the world
X x x
My voice is weak, but will does not get weaker.
It has become still better without love,
The sky is tall, the mountain wind is blowing
My thoughts are sinless to true God above.
The sleeplessness has gone to other places,
I do not on grey ashes count my sorrow,
And the skewed arrow of the clock face
Does not look to me like a deadly arrow.
How past over the heart is losing power!
Freedom is near. I will forgive all yet,
Watching, as ray of sun runs up and down
The springtime vine that with spring rain is wet.
X x x
He was jealous, fearful and tender,
He loved me like God’s only light,
And that she not sing of the past times
He killed my bird colored white.
He said, in the lighthouse at sundown:
“Love me, laugh and write poetry!”
And I buried the joyous songbird
Behind a round well near a tree.
I promised that I would not mourn her.
But my heart turned to stone without choice,
And it seems to me that everywhere
And always I’ll hear her sweet voice.
X x x
True love’s memory, You are heavy!
In your smoke I sing and burn,
And the rest – is only fire
To keep the chilled soul warm.
To keep warm the sated body,
They need my tears for this
Did I for this sing your song, God?
Did I take part of love for this?
Let me drink of such a poison,
That I would be deaf and dumb,
And my unglorious glory
Wash away to the final crumb.
X x x
The blue lacquer dims of heaven,
And the song is better heard.
It’s the little trumpet made of dirt,
There’s no reason for her to complain.
Why does she forgive me,
And whoever told her of my sins?
Or is that this voice that now repeats