I've learned to live simply, wisely

by Anna Akhmatova

English version by Judith Hemschemeyer
Original Language Russian

I've learned to live simply, wisely,
To look at the sky and pray to God,
And to take long walks before evening
To wear out this useless anxiety.

When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
And the yellow-red clusters of rowan nod,
I compose happy verses
About mortal life, mortal and beautiful life.

I return. The fluffy cat
Licks my palm and sweetly purrs.
And on the turret of the sawmill by the lake
A bright flame flares.

The quiet is cut, occasionally,
By the cry of a stork landing on the roof.
And if you were to knock at my door,
It seems to me I wouldn't even hear.

-- from The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, Edited by Roberta Reeder / Translated by Judith Hemschemeyer

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I've learned to