I Taught Myself To Live Simply


I Taught Myself to Live Simply reflects Anna Akhmatova's philosophy having been born into Russian royalty, then suffering execution and imprisonment of those she loved during war, revolution and the totalitarian regime. She is considered one of the most acclaimed Russian modernist poets.
I Taught Myself To Live Simply

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life's decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.
If you knock on my door
I may not even hear. 

This poem is featured in our selection of 100 Great Poems and Poetry for Students.


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Return to the Anna Akhmatova library , or . . . Read the next poem; 'It's fine here: the rustle and crackle;'

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