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Anna Akhmatova

It was a time when only the dead smiled, happy in their peace.

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All has been looted, betrayed, sold; black death's wing flashed ahead.

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Courage: Great Russian word, fit for the songs of our children's children, pure on their tongues, and free.

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You, Who was Born for Poetry's Creation

You, who was born for poetry's creation,
Do not repeat the sayings of the ancients.
Though, maybe, our Poetry, itself,
Is just a single beautiful citation.

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I should be proud to have my memory graced, but only if the monument be placed... here, where I endured three hundred hours in line before the implacable iron bars.

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Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem too insignificant for our concern? Yet in my heart I never will deny her, Who suffered death because she chose to turn.

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There are the words that couldn’t be twice said

There are the words that couldn’t be twice said,
He, who said once, spent out all his senses.
Only two things have never their end –
The heavens’ blue and the Creator’s mercy.

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The Pillow Hot

The pillow hot
On both sides,
The second candle
Dying, the ravens
Crying. Haven't
Slept all night, too late
To dream of sleep...
How unbearably white
The blind on the white window.
Good morning, morning!

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He Did Love

He did love three things in this world:
Choir chants at vespers, albino peacocks,
And worn, weathered maps of America.
And he did not love children crying,
Or tea served with raspberries,
Or woman's hysteria.
...And I was his wife.

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In Dream

Black and enduring separation
I share equally with you.
Why weep? Give me your hand,
Promise me you will come again.
You and I are like high
Mountains and we can't move closer.
Just send me word
At midnight sometime through the stars.

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