Wild honey smells of freedom
The dust—of sunlight
The mouth of a young girl, like a violet
But gold—smells of nothing.
(Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Russian poet. "Wild Honey Smells of Freedom," lines 1-4, as translated by Lenore Mayhew and William McNaughton (1943).)
The triumphs of a mysterious non-meeting are desolate ones; unspoken phrases, silent words.
(Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Russian poet. "Two Poems," no. 2, l. 1 (1956), trans. by Dimitri Obolensky (1965).)
It was a time when only the dead
smiled, happy in their peace.
Stars of Death stood over us,
and innocent Russia squirmed
under the bloody boots,
under the wheels of black Marias.
(Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), Russian poet. "Requiem," introduction, trans. by Richard McKane (1985). Though Akhmatova's long poem about the Stalinist purges—during which time her only son was arrested—was written mainly 1935-1940, it was not published until 1963 in West Germany, and not in its entirety in the Soviet Union until 1987.)