You took me –
I was sullen, without affection,
with only black thoughts
and convict ravings
and a widow’s unhealed anguish
and a past love that wasn’t past
You took me as a wife –
not for joy’s sake,
not of your own accord
but out of love.
by Ольга Фёдоровна Берггольц (Olga Fyodorovna Berggolts)
a.k.a. Olga Fyodorovna Bergholz
translated by Robert Chandler
A Soviet poet, writer, playwright and journalist. She is most famous for her work on the Leningrad radio during the city’s blockade, when she became the symbol of the city’s strength and determination.