No Comment — November 14, 2007, 6:00 am

From Akhmatova’s ‘Requiem’

akhmatova

????????

«?? ????? ????, ????,
?? ????? ?????».

1

??? ??????? ??????? ??? ?????????,
? ?????? ???????????? ? ????.
???? ??????: «????? ???? ????????»
? ??????: «?, ?? ????? ????…»

2

????????? ?????? ? ??????,
?????? ??????? ???????,
? ????, ??? ????? ???? ??????,
??? ????? ????????? ? ?? ??????.

??????

1

?????? ?, ??? ??????? ????,
??? ??-??? ??? ??????????? ?????,
??? ????????? ??????? ????????
????????? ??????? ?? ?????,
??? ?????? ?? ????????? ? ??????
??????????? ???????? ?????,

?????? ????? ?? ????? ????????,
? ? ????????? ?????? ?????? ?????.
? ? ?????? ?? ? ???? ?????,
? ??? ????, ??? ??? ????? ?? ????,
? ? ????? ?????, ? ? ???????? ????,
??? ??????? ???????? ??????.

2

????? ??????????? ??????????? ???.
? ????, ? ?????, ? ???????? ???:
? ??, ??? ???? ?? ???? ??????,
? ??, ??? ??????? ?? ?????? ?????,
? ??, ??? ???????? ??????? ???????,
???????: «???? ???????, ??? ?????».
???????? ?? ???? ???????? ???????,
?? ?????? ??????, ? ????? ??????.
??? ??? ??????? ? ??????? ??????
?? ??????, ? ??? ?? ???????????? ????.
? ??? ????????? ?????? ? ?????,
? ??? ?? ?????? ? ? ????? ????,
? ???? ?????? ??? ?????????? ???,
??????? ?????? ???????????? ?????,
????? ??? ?? ??? ???????? ????
? ????? ????? ????????????? ???.
? ???? ?????-?????? ? ???? ??????
??????????? ???????? ???????? ???,
???????? ?? ??? ??? ?????????,
?? ?????? ? ????????: ?? ??????? ???
?? ????? ????, ??? ? ????????
(????????? ? ????? ????????? ?????),
?? ? ??????? ???? ? ????????? ???,
??? ???? ?????????? ???? ????,
? ?????, ??? ?????? ? ?????? ?????
? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??????? ?????.
?????, ??? ? ? ?????? ????????? ?????
?????? ?????????? ?????? ??????,
??????, ??? ???????? ??????? ?????
? ???? ???????, ??? ??????? ?????.
? ????? ? ??????????? ? ????????? ???
??? ????? ???????? ?????????? ????,
? ?????? ???????? ????? ????? ?????,
? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???????.

????? 10 ????? 1940,
????????? ???

CRUCIFIXION

“Weep not for me, mother.
I am alive in my grave.”

1

A choir of angels glorified the greatest hour,
The heavens melted into flames.
To his father he said, ‘Why hast thou forsaken me!’
But to his mother, ‘Weep not for me. . .’
[1940. Fontannyi Dom]

2

Magdalena smote herself and wept,
The favourite disciple turned to stone,
But there, where the mother stood silent,
Not one person dared to look.
[1943. Tashkent]

EPILOGUE

1
I have learned how faces fall,
How terror can escape from lowered eyes,
How suffering can etch cruel pages
Of cuneiform-like marks upon the cheeks.
I know how dark or ash-blond strands of hair
Can suddenly turn white. I’ve learned to recognise
The fading smiles upon submissive lips,
The trembling fear inside a hollow laugh.
That’s why I pray not for myself
But all of you who stood there with me
Through fiercest cold and scorching July heat
Under a towering, completely blind red wall.

2
The hour has come to remember the dead.
I see you, I hear you, I feel you:
The one who resisted the long drag to the open window;
The one who could no longer feel the kick of familiar
soil beneath her feet;
The one who, with a sudden flick of her head, replied,

‘I arrive here as if I’ve come home!’
I’d like to name you all by name, but the list
Has been removed and there is nowhere else to look.
So,
I have woven you this wide shroud out of the humble
words
I overheard you use. Everywhere, forever and always,
I will never forget one single thing. Even in new
grief.
Even if they clamp shut my tormented mouth
Through which one hundred million people scream;
That’s how I wish them to remember me when I am dead
On the eve of my remembrance day.
If someone someday in this country
Decides to raise a memorial to me,
I give my consent to this festivity
But only on this condition – do not build it
By the sea where I was born,
I have severed my last ties with the sea;
Nor in the Tsar’s Park by the hallowed stump
Where an inconsolable shadow looks for me;
Build it here where I stood for three hundred hours
And no-one slid open the bolt.
Listen, even in blissful death I fear
That I will forget the Black Marias,
Forget how hatefully the door slammed and an old woman
Howled like a wounded beast.
Let the thawing ice flow like tears
From my immovable bronze eyelids
And let the prison dove coo in the distance
While ships sail quietly along the river.
[March 1940. Fontannyi Dom]

Anna Akhmatova, “Crucifixion” and “Epilogue” from Requiem (1935-40)(trans. Sasha Soldatow)

Listen to Anna Akhmatova read Requiem here

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Six Questions October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond

Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

From the June 2014 issue

The Guantánamo “Suicides,” Revisited

A missing document suggests a possible CIA cover-up

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today