And I grew up in patterned tranquility,
In the cool nursery of the young century.
And the voice of man was not dear to me,
But the voice of the wind I could understand.
But best of all the silver willow.
And obligingly, it lived
With me all my life; it’s weeping branches
Fanned my insomnia with dreams.
And strange!–I outlived it.
There the stump stands; with strange voices
Other willows are conversing
Under our, under those skies.
And I am silent…As if a brother had died.
(Anna Akhmatova, 1889-1966)