And the stone word fell
On my still-living breast.
Never mind, I was ready.
I will manage somehow.
Today I have so much to do:
I must kill memory once and for all,
I must turn my soul to stone,
I must learn to live again –
Unless … Summer’s ardent rustling
Is like a festival outside my window.
For a long time I’ve foreseen this
Brilliant day, deserted house.
Source: Reeder, R (ed.), 1989, Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer, Zephyr Press., p. 398. Poem first published 1939.