You invented me. There is no such earthly being,
Such an earthly being there could never be.
A doctor cannot cure, a poet cannot comfort
A shadowy apparition haunts you night and day.
We met in an unbelievable year,
When the world’s strength was at an ebb,
Everything withered by adversity,
And only the graves were fresh.
Without streetlights, the Neva’s waves were black as pitch,
Thick night enclosed me like a wall…
That’s when my voice called out to you!
Why it did I still don’t understand.
And you came to me, as if guided by a star
That tragic autumn, stepping
Into that irrevocably ruined house,
From whence had flown a flock of burnt verse.
― Anna Akhmatova, The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova