The Anna Akhmatova File

For Alexander Blok

I came to the poet as a guest.
Exactly at noon. On Sunday.
Beyond the window, frost,
Quiet in the room’s space.

And a raspberry tinted sun
Above tangles of blue smoke…
How clearly the taciturn
Master turns, on me, his look!

His eyes are of that kind
Remembered by one and all:
Better take care, mind:
Don’t gaze at them at all.

But I remember our words,
Smoky noon, of a Sunday,
In that high grey house
By the Neva’s sea-way.

Anna Akhmatova