“Evening” by Anna Akhmatova.

In the garden there were snatches of music
Wordless, melancholy.
The sharp fresh odors of the sea
Rose from oysters on cracked ice.

He said to me,
“I am faithful friend,”
And touched my dress:
Unlike an embrace
The touch of that hand.

So one pets a cat or a bird
So one looks
at well-built circus riders.
And in his tranquil eyes there was laughter
Under lashes of light gold.

And behind the drifting smoke
The voices of nostalgic violins sang
“Give thanks, thanks to the Gods—
For the first time
You are alone
with your love.”


“We Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye” by Anna Akhmatova.

We don’t know how to say goodbye.
We wander all over, shoulder to shoulder.
It is already starting to get dark,
You’re thoughtful, and I remain quiet.

Let’s go inside a church, and watch
A baptism, a wedding, a funeral.
Why can’t we live like that?
Let’s leave, not looking at each other.

Or, let us sit in the cemetery,
Quiet in the trampled snow.
And watch you trace with a stick,
Places where we will always be together.