Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Akhmatova
Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Akhmatova was born Anna Gorenko into an upper-class family in...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
FURTHER READING
Related Poems
The Wife-Woman
by Anne Spencer
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

Lot's Wife

 
by Anna Akhmatova
translated by Max Hayward and Stanley Kunitz

And the just man trailed God's shining agent,
over a black mountain, in his giant track,
while a restless voice kept harrying his woman:
"It's not too late, you can still look back

at the red towers of your native Sodom,
the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed,
at the empty windows set in the tall house
where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed."

A single glance: a sudden dart of pain
stitching her eyes before she made a sound . . .
Her body flaked into transparent salt,
and her swift legs rooted to the ground.

Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem
too insignificant for our concern?
Yet in my heart I never will deny her,
who suffered death because she chose to turn.






From Poems of Akhmatova, by Anna Akhmatova and translated by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward. Published by Little, Brown & Co. © 1973 by Stanley Kunitz and Max Hayward. Granted by permission of Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agency. All rights reserved.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.