for D. D. Sh.
Something miraculous burns brightly;
its facets form before my eyes.
And it alone can speak to me
when no one will stand by my side.
When my last friends had turned and gone
from where I lay, it remained close –
burst into blossom, into song,
like a first storm, like speaking flowers.
by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova)
translation by Boris Dralyuk
Fun facts: the D. D. Sh. this poem is dedicated to is the famous composer Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович) whose music she liked though they held opposing views. Anna Akhmatova and Dmitry Shostakovich met before the war. They met quite often at various cultural events, although they did not get along with each other. According to one version, Shostakovich did not share the poet’s views on dissidence, believing that it wasn’t worthwhile to help Russian writers abroad, since they openly opposed Soviet power. Akhmatova, in turn, was convinced that the country should know its heroes, and went as far as to even solicit, before her friends, the editors of magazines to begin publishing the works of emigrants.
Akhmatova reciting her poem:
Original Cyrillic text:
Д. Д. Ш.
В ней что-то чудотворное горит,
И на глазах ее края гранятся.
Она одна со мною говорит,
Когда другие подойти боятся.
Когда последний друг отвел глаза,
Она была со мной одна в могиле
И пела словно первая гроза
Иль будто все цветы заговорили.