"Like a White Stone"


Like a white stone deep in a draw-well lying,
As hard and clear, a memory lies in me.
I cannot strive nor have I heart for striving:
It is such pain and yet such ecstasy.

It seems to me that someone looking closely
Into my eyes would see it, patent, pale.
And, seeing, would grow sadder and more thoughtful
Than one who listens to a bitter tale.

The ancient gods changed men to things, but left them
A consciousness that smoldered endlessly,
That splendid sorrows might endure forever.
And you are changed into a memory.


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Return to the Anna Akhmatova Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; 'Like a white stone in a well's depths,'

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.