by Anna Akhmatova (translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward)
Everything is plundered, betrayed, sold.
Death’s great black wing scrapes the air,
Misery gnaws to the bone.
Why then do we not despair?
By day, from the surrounding woods,
cherries blow summer into town;
at night the deep transparent skies
glitter with new galaxies.
And the miraculous comes so close
to the ruined dirty houses—
something not known to anyone at all
But wild in our breast for centuries.