• Give me bitter years of sickness, Suffocation, insomnia, fever, Take my child and my lover, And my mysterious gift of song This I pray at your liturgy After so many tormented days, So that the stormcloud over darkened Russia Might become a cloud of glorious rays.

    Anna Andreevna Akhmatova (1993). “A stranger to heaven and earth: poems of Anna Akhmatova”, Shambhala Pubns