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I Taught Myself to Live Simply

Anna Akhmatova 1889 (Odessa) – 1966 (Moscow)

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.

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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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