Wednesday, May 26, 2021

"We Don't Know How To Say Goodbye..."

"We Don't Know How To Say Goodbye..." 

by Anna Akhmatova 

Translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward

We don't know how to say goodbye:
we wander on, shoulder to shoulder.
Already the sun is going down;
you're moody, I am your shadow.

Let's step inside a church and watch
baptisms, marriages, masses for the dead.
Why are we different from the rest?
Outdoors again, each of us turns his head.

Or else let's sit in the graveyard
on the trampled snow, sighing to each other.
That stick in your hand is tracing mansions
in which we shall always be together.

(Painting Van Gogh- Two lovers) 

The above  is a sad but lovely little poem Anna Akhmatova, one of the greatest Russian poets of last century, wrote in 1917 about a final visit with a friend who was set to be imprisoned by the Bolsheviks. Such goodbyes aren't uncommon in our lives too. 


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