/Why then do we not despair?/

Anna Akhmatova’s poem: “Everything is Plundered, Betrayed, Sold”

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

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