Voronezh

 

O.M.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

And the two is frozen solid, leaden with ice.

Trees, walls, snow, seem to be under glass.

Cautiously I tread on crystals.

The painted sleighs canít get a grip

And over the statue of Peter-in-Voronezh

Are crows, and poplars, and a pale-green dome

Washed-out and muddy in the sun-motes.

The mighty slopes of the Field of Kulikovo

Tremble still with the slaughter of barbarians.

And all at once the poplars, like lifted chalices,

Enmesh more boisterously overhead

Like thousands of wedding-guests feasting

And drinking toasts to our happiness.

And in the room of the banished poet

Fear and the Muse take turns at watch,

And the night comes

When there will be no sunrise.

 

Anna Akhmatova††††††††

(Muse, 1936)††††††††††††††††