i forgot, dear anna, how much i adore your poems. (thank you arch for reminding me about her by putting her collection up on that recommended list on your blog.)
below is a mere morsel of this woman's amazing craft (and the beautiful work of translator Lyn Coffin). truly inspirational and beautiful is the beloved anna akhmatova, and devastatingly under appreciated. even i forgot about her. my grandmother of poetry.
The three things he loved most in life
Were white peacocks, music at mass,
And tattered maps of America.
He didn't like kids who cried and he
Didin't like raspberry jam with tea
Or womanish hysteria.
...And I was, like it or not, his wife.
Broad and yellow is the evening light,
The coolness of April is dear.
You, of course, are several years late,
Even so, I'm happy you're here.
Sit close at hand and look at me,
With those eyes, so cheerful and mild:
This blue notebook is full, you see,
Full of poems I wrote as a child.
Forgive me, forgive me, for having grieved
For ignoring the sunlight, too.
And especially for having believed,
That so many others were you.
THE LAST TOAST
I drink to the house, already destroyed,
And my whole life, too awful to tell,
To the loneliness we together enjoyed,
I drink to you as well,
To the eyes with deadly cold imbued,
To the lips that betrayed me with a lie,
To the world for being cruel and rude,
To God who didn't save us, or try.
And a decrepit bunch of trees.
I grew up where all was patterned and silent,
In the cool nursery of the age, itself young;
I didn't like human words, spoken or sung,
But i understood what the wind meant.
I liked burdock and nettles but the will tree,
The silver willow, I liked especially.
It lived gratefully with me till now
And with its weeping branches seemed
To make dreamlessness like something dreamed.
It's hard to believe I outlived it somehow.
There's a stump. And in alien tongues, other willows
Be saying whatever it is they say
Under our skies, under theirs. I'm completely still.
It's as if my brother had died today.