I Taught Myself to Live Simply

By: Anna Akhamatova

I Taught Myself to Live Simply

I taught myself to live simply and wisely,
to look at the sky and pray to God,
and to wander long before evening
to tire my superfluous worries.
When the burdocks rustle in the ravine
and the yellow-red rowanberry cluster droops
I compose happy verses
about life's decay, decay and beauty.
I come back. The fluffy cat
licks my palm, purrs so sweetly
and the fire flares bright
on the saw-mill turret by the lake.
Only the cry of a stork landing on the roof
occasionally breaks the silence.

If you knock on my door
I may not even hear.


Here are some words that you might not know the definition of:

Superfluous- unnecessary, especially through being more then enough

burdocks- flower plant

ravine- a deep narrow gorge with steep sides

rowanberry- shrubs or trees

turret- small tower on top of a large tower or at the corner of a building or wall, typically of a castle


  • taught herself to pray to god
  • taught herself to distract herself from irrelavent worries
  • to look at decay of the earth in a beautiful way
  • to admire her scene/situation
  • to enjoy and live life in peace and quiet


Diction: formal language/descriptive and not talking to a friend. No allusions, no figurative devices but language like adjectives to create emphasis on words.


  • Poem doesnt necessarilly tella story but authors way of life
  • calming mood and an emotion of serenity/nirvana
  • author seems to be talking to reader, she says " If you knock, I may not even hear you"
  • Isn't telling us something imperative, so there is no reason not to believe her
  • Authors tone is also calm because she refers to nature repeatidly, peaceful motif. (ex: sky, bordocks, ravine, rowanberry, cat, fire, lake, stork)



  • Poem consists of 16 lines
  • no type of rhyme scheme
  • free form, to express simplicity


  • the poems events do happen in chronological order as she starts the day by praying then wondering untill evening and going home to her cat and watching the fire
  • the attitude is consistant the whole time, calm, serenity


  • there is 6 periods through the whole poem, so 6 sentences, and 16 lines
  • it follows the normal noun verb order. falls in line with theme of simplicity


  • the only punctuation is the middle of the lines is commas to break up a thought, or list several things about something


  • the title is like the topic of a poem, and poem gets more specific

Musical Devices

No rhyme scheme