We Don’t Know How To Say Goodbye

The title of this poem by Anna Akhmatova is a universal truth. Because really: are we ever able to say goodbye? I can only speak for myself, but I’m quite horrible at it. That’s why I actually got quite emotional reading and rereading this poem. I was able to find some hope in the ending: maybe we never say goodbye? Maybe it’s just: see you soon?

We don’t know how to say good-bye
We keep wandering arm in arm.
Twilight has begun to fall,
You are pensive and I keep still.

Let’s go into a church – we will watch
A funeral, christenings, a marriage service,
Without looking at each other, we will leave…
What’s wrong with us?

Or let’s sit on the trampled snow
Of the graveyard, sighing lightly,
And with your walking stick you’ll outline palaces
Where we will be together always.

Anna Akhmatova


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