The Return by Anna Akhmatova

Leonard Durso

The souls of all my dears have flown to the stars.
Thank God there’s no one left for me to lose–
so I am free to cry. This air is made
for the echoing of songs.

A silver willow by the shore
trails to the bright September waters.
My shadow, risen from the past,
glides silently towards me.

Though the branches here are hung with many lyres,
a place has been reserved for mine, it seems.
And now this shower, struck by sunlight,
brings me good news, my cup of consolation.

translated by Stanley Kunitz with Max Hayward

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