Sunday, July 18, 2010

To death

Anna Akhmatova

You're sure to come. So why wait anymore?
I'm waiting for you. I am through.
My light is out. My doors are open for
The simple wonder known as you.
So take whatever guise you feel like: Lob
Your poison bombs across my room,
Or end me like a practiced mugger’s club,
Or damn my throat with typhoid fume,
Or, if you like, come as your bedtime tale
Known to the innocent
ad nauseam:
Show me the blue cap of the law1, the pale
House-porter's face and trembling hand.2
I could care less. The Yenisey still streams,
The North Star glimmers overhead
And in beloved eyes the old blue gleam

Is blemished by that final dread.

Notes:
1 The blue cap of the uniform worn by the secret police
2 i.e. as he opens the tenants' doors for the inspectors when they come to round up suspects.

Translation by A.Z. Foreman.

1 comment:

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Best of luck! Regards from Lithuania.