The moon stalled behind the lake ...


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The moon stalled behind the lake

And looked like the open window

Of a hushed, brilliantly illuminated house,

Where something awful had taken place.


Was the owner brought in dead?

Have the mistress and her lover fled?

Or did the little girl disappear - 

And by the creek they found her slipper …


From the earth it wasn’t visible.

Sensing dire misfortune, we suddenly grew still.

The eagle owls shrieked for the repose of souls,

And in the garden a stifling wind howled.



by Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer.

Anna Akhmatova (1889 - 1966) is recognized as one of the greatest twentieth-century Russian poets.




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