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For Osip Mandelstam

Anna Akhmatova 1889 (Odessa) – 1966 (Moscow)

And the town is frozen solid in a vice,
Trees, walls, snow, beneath a glass.
Over crystal, on slippery tracks of ice,
the painted sleighs and I, together, pass.
And over St Peter’s there are poplars, crows
there’s a pale green dome there that glows,
dim in the sun-shrouded dust.
The field of heroes lingers in my thought,
Kulikovo’s barbarian battleground.
The frozen poplars, like glasses for a toast,
clash now, more noisily, overhead.
As though it was our wedding, and the crowd
were drinking to our health and happiness.
But Fear and the Muse take turns to guard
the room where the exiled poet is banished,
and the night, marching at full pace,
of the coming dawn, has no knowledge.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova was born in 1889 in Odessa on the Black Sea coast. In 1910 she married Nikolai Gumilev, who was also a poet. He was shot as an alleged counter-revolutionary in 1921. Very little of Akhmatova's poetry was published between 1923 and 1941. After Stalin's death her poetry began to be published again. She died in 1966, in a suburb of Moscow. more…

All Anna Akhmatova poems | Anna Akhmatova Books

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    "For Osip Mandelstam" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 4 Mar. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/2986/for-osip-mandelstam>.

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