‘I don’t know if you’re alive or dead -‘

by Anna Akhmatova

I don’t know if you’re alive or dead –
Can you be found on earth so?
Or only in twilit thoughts instead,
Be mourned, in that peaceful glow?

All for you: the prayer by day,
The hot sleeplessness at night,
The white flock of poetry,
And the blue fire of my eyes.

No one was cherished more,
Or made me suffer: no, not
He who betrayed me to torment,
Nor he who caressed and forgot.