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:

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

No Comment March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm

Scott Horton Debates John Rizzo on Democracy Now!

On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

Cassandra Among the
Creeps

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

PBS Self-Destructs

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Monkey Did It

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
 
Rebecca Solnit on silencing women, a Marine commander returns to Iraq, the decline of PBS, and more
Article
Cassandra Among the Creeps·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On silencing women
“The old framework of feminine mendacity and murky-mindedness is still routinely trotted out, and we should learn to recognize it for what it is.”
Photograph © Sallie Dean Shatz
Post
Ending College Sexual Assault·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“This is not a fable about a young woman whose dreams were dashed by a sexual predator. Maya’s narrative is one of institutional failure at a school desperately trying to adapt.”
Photograph © AP/Josh Reynolds
Post
 
"Clothes are a bit like eating: you have to dress yourself. You have to eat, and even if you eat pizza all day long, that’s still a choice."
Photograph © G Powell
Article
“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Iraq has every disease there is; its mind is deranged with too many voices, its organs corrupted, its limbs only long enough to tear at its own body.”
Photograph by Benjamin Busch

Abortions per 1,000 live births in New York City:

852

Researchers discovered an “Obama effect”: African Americans’ performance on a verbal test improved, to equal that of white Americans, immediately after Obama’s nomination and his election.

“All I saw,” said a 12-year-old neighbor of visits to the man’s house, “was just cats in little diapers.”

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