Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two from Anna Akhmatova

On Reading Hamlet

A barren patch to the right of the cemetary,
behind it a river flashing blue.
You said: " All right then, get thee to a nunnery,
or go get married to a fool..."

It was the sort of thing that princes always say,
but these are words that one remembers.
May they flow a hundred centuries in a row
like an ermine mantle from his shoulders.

Three things enchanted him...

Three things enchanted him:
white peacocks, evensong,
and faded maps of America.

He couldn't stand bawling brats,
or raspberry jam with his tea,
or womanish hysteria.
...And he was tied to me.

see Philip Mc Donagh's Irish Times piece

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