Everything is looted, spoiled, despoiled,
Death flickering his black wing,
Anguish, hunger – then why this
Lightness overlaying everything?
By day, cherry-scent from an unknown
Wood near the town. July
Holding new constellations, deep
At night in the transparent sky –
Nearer to filthy ruined houses
Flies the miraculous…
Nobody has ever known it,
This, always so dear to us.
– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1921)
– from Anno Domini MCMXXI translation by D. M. Thomas