A lyric poet who was born in 1915 and studied at the Literary Institute of the Soviet Writers’ Union, Margarita Aliger was awarded a Stalin Prize for her long poem, ZOYA. She is one of the most audacious women now writing in the U.S.S.R.

And so once more they quarrel in the trolley;
Their anger, flaring, will not let them see
That they stand stripped before a crowd of strangers.
Helpless and hurt, I watch them enviously.

They do not know their happiness; there’s no one
To show it to them, tell them what is plain:
Think! You are next each other, breathing, speaking,
And it can still come right for you again.

Translated by Babette Deutsch and Avrahm Yarmolinsky.