I was recently in conversation with a friend and we were both feeling depressed and angry over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Then I remembered a poem by a Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, entitled ‘Everything’ and I read it to him. It moved us both deeply. Here it is:
“Everything has been plundered, betrayed, sold out,
The wing of black death has flashed,
Everything has been devoured by starving anguish.
Why, then, is it so bright?
The fantastic woods near the town
Wafts the scent of cherry blossoms by day,
At night new constellations shine
In the transparent depths of the skies of July
And how near the miraculous draws
To the dirty, tumbledown huts…
No one, no one knows what it is,
But for centuries we have longed for it. “