I shall come into your dream
As a black ewe, approach the throne
On withered and infirm
Legs, bleating: ‘Padishah,
Have you dined well? You who hold
The world like a bead, beloved
of Allah, was my little son
To your taste, was he fat enough’
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1930s)
translation by D. M. Thomas
Fun facts: This poem refers to the arrest of Akhmatova’s son by the authorities during the Stalinist era.
Here is an alternative translation of the same poem by Robert Chandler.