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This poem is taken from PN Review 162, Volume 31 Number 4, March - April 2005.

Versions of Anna Akhmatova Elaine Feinstein

1 The Last Toast

I drink to a ruined house,
My life of viciousness.
The loneliness we shared.
Just so, I drink to you -
To the lie of treacherous lips,
To the deathly cold of your eyes,
To this harsh and cruel world,
Where God does not save anyone.


Everything has been plundered, stolen or sold;
the black wings of death flicker over us.
The pain of starvation gobbles everything.
So why is it now so bright?

By day the scents of cherry blossoms
reach us from the woods nearby
and at night there are new constellations

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