Modigliani

 

a translation of Anna Ahkmatova

 

With Modigliani following me

Through a blue Parisian fog

Looking like a dispirited and

Dispiriting shadow of himself,

I’ve been shaken even in my sleep

By a deep yearning remorse.

 

Yet for me—his Egyptian woman…

An old grinder’s organ moans

A Paris music that intones underfoot

Like the groaning sea,

He’d imbibed in his shame,

Drunk his fill of grief and hard times.