The Akkerman Steppe
I launch myself across the dry and open narrows,
My carriage plunging into green as if a ketch,
Floundering through the meadow flowers in the stretch.
I pass an archipelago of coral yarrows.
It's dusk now, not a road in sight, nor ancient barrows.
I look up at the sky and look for stars to catch.
There distant clouds glint—there tomorrow starts to etch;
The Dnieper glimmers; Akkerman's lamp shines and harrows.
I stand in stillness, hear the migratory cranes,
Their necks and wings beyond the reach of preying hawks;
Hear where the sooty copper glides across the plains,
Where on its underside a viper writhes through stalks.
Amid the hush I lean my ears down grassy lanes
And listen for a voice from home. Nobody talks.
— translated from the Polish by Leo Yankevich
first appeared in the Sarmatian Review
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Comments about this poem (The Akkerman Steppe by Adam Mickiewicz )
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
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(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
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