Joseph Brodsky: On The 100th Anniversary Of Anna Akhmatova

The fire and the page, the hewed hairs and the swords, 
The grains and the millstone, the whispers and the clatter -- 
God saves all that -- especially the words 
Of love and pity, as His only way to utter. 
The harsh pulse pounds and the blood torrent whips, 
The spade knocks evenly in them, by gentle muse begotten, 
For life is so unique, they from the mortal lips 
Sound more clear than from the divine wad-cotton. 
Oh, the great soul, I'm bowing overseas 
To you, who found them, and that, your smoldering portion, 
Sleeping in the homeland, which, thanks to you, at least, 
Obtained the gift of speech in the deaf-mute space ocean.


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