...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 09, 2004

Thursday Can Be Poetry Day When i Miss The Last Two Wednesdays

Today's short poem is by the Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova. No stranger to death and horror during her own lifetime (she survived the Bolshevik Revolution, Stalin's purges, the siege of Leningrad, the imprisonment of two sons and one husband, and the execution of another husband), the following poem is terribly poignant this week.

Why is this Age Worse?

Why is this age worse than earlier ages?
In a stupor of grief and dread
have we not fingered the foulest wounds
and left them unhealed by our hands?

In the west the falling light still glows,
and the clustered housetops glitter in the sun,
but here Death is already chalking the doors with crosses,
and calling the ravens, and the ravens are flying in.

You can find a short biography of the poet here. And Dustbowl Blues compares alternate translations.

Posted by annika, Sep. 9, 2004 |
Rubric: Poetry