Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AKHMATOVA, by KAREN SWENSON



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AKHMATOVA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The dark stair's colder than the snow-wan world
Last Line: He who would torture for such adulation.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Russia; Soviet Union; Russians


The dark stair's colder than the snow-wan world
outside, where pallid clouds and flakes are swirled
before sun's burn. Ice ingots, each stair holds
deposits of cold. Blood frozen into folds
of newspaper wrap, the week's meat under your
arm, you climb to your room's sparse furniture -
to Shakespeare and the Bible, words that wait
for harness - flocks of geese who consecrate
the sky with wings that raise your audience
above the anguish of their present tense.
While in the Kremlin, Stalin asks his spies
where you get the cash to bribe men to rise
and, as your poems speak, weep for their nation,
he who would torture for such adulation.





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