My name is Leah. I live and write in Wellington, New Zealand. Welcome!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Poem: 'I Taught Myself To Live Simply' by Anna Akhmatova

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster drops
I compose happy verses
about life's decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.

- Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova (1889-1960) was a Russian poet. Her work was censored and destroyed by Stalinist authorities, and she is particularly noted, not only for being a strong female voice in a world of men, but for choosing not to emigrate from Russia during the Stalinist regime.

Head on over to the Tuesday Poem for more wonderful poems today!


  1. Love this, Leah. Love, too, that her 'voice' lives on.

  2. Thanks for this is beautiful and so was she.

  3. I concur with the above comments and the sentiment of the poem: we should all teach ourselves "to live simply and wisely". The couplet "and to wander long before evening/to tire my superfluous worries" really resonates with me. Not only good poetry but such good advice.

  4. Yes it's a wonderful night time poem. Odd how people who wrote of simple things could be seen to be subversive...better to be seen to be flustered and not coping perhaps? Thank you for posting this