Everything’s looted, betrayed and traded,
black death’s wing’s overhead.
Everything’s eaten by hunger, unsated,
so why does a light shine ahead?

by Anna Akhmatova Click to read full poem

Comments (12)

Delightful poem of hope......
Some thing miraculous will come close to the darkness and ruin Superb conceptualization in an equally superb poem. Thanks.
Superb poem and well deserved POTD honours
By day, a mysterious wood, near the town, breathes out cherry, a cherry perfume. Beautiful poem..... Thanks for sharing....
Something miraculous! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Hi Frank I have two translations of this poem but this one is a third I don't have and It is clearly the best. Akhmatova frequently refers to miracles in a low-keyed casual way as she does here announcing new constellations and then declaring the miraculous will soon inhabit their town torn by civil war. In real terms, things only got worse. But Akhmatova never abandoned her fellow Russians - SHE STAYED as she wrote proudly in one of her poems. When friends told her the composer Shostakovich was too humble to meet her, she wrote this poem for him SOMETHING MIRACULOUS BURNS IN MUSIC...MUSIC STAYED, EVEN AT MY GRAVE, AND SANG LIKE EARTH'S FIRST SHOWER OF RAIN OR FLOWERS EVERYWHERE ALIVE.
I have to admit I find the meaning of this baffling, its beautifully stated and there is a wonderful lyricism of the whole, is it about the destruction of a city? is it about the apocalypse the second stanza really throws a spanner with its lines By night, on July’s sky, deep, and transparent, new constellations are thrown. the meaning is elusive but the work is mythic and dreamlike. I feel massively thick headed, but this a pretty good work.
Well-written poem of hope.
Anna was brilliant.
The translator deserves credit, too. I suspect that this was a difficult poem to translate into English; furthermore, I suspect that the translator has made an attempt to recapature the form of the poem as well as its sense. If so, this is commendable indeed. Does anyone know?
Fantastic the straight way of criticising those social perverts who never take any part in reformation but always shouting the negative terms to make people misguided from their own way of living. something no-one, no-one, has known, though we’ve longed for it since we were children.... Excellent the utopia which always tries to distract our social strength to keep our existence together with manliness....... Nice write.
A poem that is about the humanity that keeps-charity, love, hope, .....everything but it is very worst condition- poet says- Everything’s looted, betrayed and traded, black death’s wing’s overhead.- the Satanic way that sat overhead - misguiding - dragging..from everything to put us in fire ..lovely