Sunday, September 25, 2005
The freak autumn built a high vault in the sky,
the clouds were ordered not to darken the vault.
The people marvelled: September is passing
and where are the chill, damp days?
The murky canal waters turned emerald,
the nettles smelled like roses, only stronger.
The air was sultry with sunsets, unbearable, devilish, crimson,
we will all remember them to the end of our days.
The sun was like a rebel forcing the capital,
and the spring-like autumn caressed it so thirstily
that it seemed the transparent snowdrop would blossom white...
That was when you, cool and calm, came to my door.
-- circa 1922
-- Translation by Richard McCane, Anna Akhmatova: Selected Poems (Penguin, 1969)