I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life’s decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.

Anna Akhmatova, 23 June 1889 – 5 March 1966

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Anna Akhmatova, Modigliani, 1911

Anna Akhmatova – Head of woman 1911 Amedeo Modigliani

Anna, Black crayon, Modigliani

Anna Akhmatova as Acrobat, Modigliani
Akhmatova, courtesy of The Akhmatova Museum, St Petersburgakhmatova-courtesy-of-the-akhmatova-museum-st-petersburg