Requiem - Prologue



In those years only the dead smiled,

Glad to be at rest:

And Leningrad city swayed like

A needless appendix to its prisons.

It was then that the railway-yards

Were asylums of the mad;

Short were the locomotivesí

Farewell songs.

Stars of death stood

Above us, and innocent Russia

Writhed under bloodstained boots, and

Under the tyres of Black Marias.

Anna Akhmatova