I -- am your voice, the warmth of your breath,
I -- am the reflection of your face,
The futile trembling of futile wings,
I am with you to the end, in any case.
That's why you so fervently love
Me in my weakness and in my sin;
That's why you impulsively gave
Me the best of your sons;
That's why you never even asked
Me for any word of him
And blackened my forever-deserted home
With fumes of praise.
And they say -- it's impossible to fuse more closely,
Impossible to love more abandonedly...
As the shadow from the body wants to part,
As the flesh from the soul wants to separate,
So I want now -- to be forgotten...
Anna Achmatova (1889-1966).
Translated by Judith Hemschemeyer.