by Anna Ahkmatova 1961 (translated from Russian)
A woman’s voice, like the wind, rushes –
Nocturnal it seems, moist and black –
And as it flies, whatever it brushes
Changes, and will not change back.
Its diamond-shine comes to bathe and bless.
Things are draped in a silver light,
It rustles its suggestive dress,
Woven of fantasy, silken and bright.
And the power that propels the enchanted
Voice displays such hidden might,
It’s as if the grave were not ahead,
But mysterious stairs beginning their flight.