The Pillow’s Just As Hot by Anna Akhmatova

The pillow’s just as hot

when I turn it over.

And now a second candle

is guttering, and crows

are cawing louder than ever.

Not a wink… And it’s too late

even to think of sleep.

White, blindingly white –

a blind on a white window.

Good morning!

 

by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova)

(1909)

from Вечер (Evening, 1912)

translation by Robert Chandler


An alternate version of the same poem as D. M. Thomas’ translation The Pillow Hot…

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‘The Pillow Hot…’ by Anna Akhmatova

The pillow hot

On both sides,

The second candle

Dying, the ravens

Crying. Haven’t

Slept all night, too late

To dream of sleep…

How unbearably white

The blind on the white window.

Good morning, morning!

 

by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (1909)

from Вечер (Evening, 1912), translation by D. M. Thomas