Poem by Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)

I Wrung My Hands


I wrung my hands under my dark veil. . .
"Why are you pale, what makes you reckless?"
-- Because I have made my loved one drunk
with an astringent sadness.

I'll never forget.    He went out, reeling;
his mouth was twisted, desolate. . .
I ran downstairs, not touching the banisters,
and followed him as far as the gate.

And shouted, choking: "I meant it all
in fun.    Don't leave me, or I'll die of pain."
He smiled at me -- oh so calmly, terribly --
and said: "Why don't you get out of the rain?"

Kiev, 1911



More information on Anna Akhmatova

Translated by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward

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Written on 2021-05-17 at 00:00

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