A poem for Monday

This is by Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer.

Somewhere there is a simple life and a world
Transparent, warm, joyful ...
There at evening a neighbour talks with a girl
Across the fence, and only the bees can hear
This most tender murmuring of all.

But we live ceremoniously and with difficulty
And we observe the rites of our bitter meetings,
When suddenly the reckless wind
Breaks off a sentence just begun —

But not for anything would we exchange this splendid
Granite city of fame and calamity,
The wide rivers of glistening ice,
The sunless, gloomy gardens,
And, barely audible, the muse's voice.
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