How Many Demands...
How many demands the beloved can make!
by Anna Akhmatova
The woman discarded, none.
How glad I am that today the water
Under the colorless ice is motionless.
And I stand - Christ help me! -
On this shroud that is brittle and bright,
But save my letters
So that our descendants can decide,
So that you, courageous and wise,
Will be seen by them with greater clarity.
Perhaps we may leave some gaps
In your glorious biography?
Too sweet is earthly drink,
Too tight the nets of love.
Sometime let the children read
My name in their lesson book,
And on learning the sad story,
Let them smile shyly. . .
Since you've given me neither love nor peace
Grant me bitter glory.