I Taught Myself To Live Simply
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.
by Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Gorenko, better known by the pen name Anna Akhmatova, was a Russian modernist poet, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Russian canon, (Born June 11 [June 23, New Style], 1889, Bolshoy Fontan, near Odessa, Ukraine, Russian Empire—died March 5, 1966, Domodedovo, near Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.), Russian poet recognized at her death as the greatest woman poet in Russian literature.