Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold

Anna Akhmatova

(Dedicated to the people of Gaza, November 2012)

Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold,
Death's great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?

By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.

And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined, dirty houses --
something not known to anyone at all,
but wild in our breast for centuries.


English version by Stanley Kunitz. Source. About the poet. Photo by Janek Skarzynski, AFP/Getty Images.


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