Requiem - Foreword
No, not under a foreign heavenly-cope, and
Not canopied by foreign wings –
I was with my people in those hours,
There where, unhappily, my people were.
In the fearful
years of the Yezhov terror I spent seventeen months in prison queues in Leningrad. One day
somebody ‘identified’ me. Beside me, in the queue, there was a woman with blue
lips. She had, of course, never heard of me; but suddenly came out of that
trance so common to us all and whispered in my ear (everybody speaks in
whispers there)” ‘Can you describe this?’ And I said ‘Yes, I can.’ And then
something like the shadow of a smile crossed what had once been her face.