“Oh, If I’ve Known…”


…from the quills of the dead white poets

Anna Akhmatova (1889 – 1966)



Oh, if I’ve known, when, in dress of whiteness,

Muse was just coming to my living place,

That to the lyre, stoned in the timeless,

My hands’ warm flesh will be forever pressed.

Oh, if I’ve known, when was flying fierce

And playful tempest of my love, the last,

That to the best of youths, in bitter tears,

I’ll close his, like eagle’s, dear eyes.

Oh, if I’ve known, when, by my successes

Pined, I was tempting destiny, discreet,

That soon with laugh, so scornful one and merciless,

Will people answer to my last entreat.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2000


About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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