Quotation by Anna Akhmatova

It was a time when only the dead
smiled, happy in their peace.
Stars of Death stood over us,
and innocent Russia squirmed
under the bloody boots,
under the wheels of black Marias.
Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966), Russian poet. "Requiem," introduction, trans. by Richard McKane (1985).

Though Akhmatova's long poem about the Stalinist purges—during which time her only son was arrested—was written mainly 1935-1940, it was not published until 1963 in West Germany, and not in its entirety in the Soviet Union until 1987.
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