We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
And the just man trailed God's shining agent, over a black mountain, in his giant track, while a restless voice kept harrying his woman: 'It's not too late, you can still look back
at the red towers of your native Sodom, the square where once you sang, the spinning-shed, at the empty windows set in the tall house where sons and daughters blessed your marriage-bed.' A single glance: a sudden dart of pain stitching her eyes before she made a sound... Her body flaked into transparent salt, and her swift legs rooted to the ground.
Who will grieve for this woman? Does she not seem too insignificant for our concern? Yet in my heart I never will deny her, who suffered death because she chose to turn.
"Song of the Final Meeting" is great. Her poetry spans the years from the decadence of the intelligentsia in the last years of the Tsar ("we're all whores and drunkards here..." is a line from one poem about a favorite haunt of poets and artists) to the terror of the purges under Stalin. Akhmatova stayed, and remains popular because she did not scurry to safety in exile. She writes about the imprisonment of her son and desperately seeking news of him.
As to why she was turned to salt, Jack? The whole point of the poem is WHY she disobeyed. You can go all vengeful about it or you can try to imagine the turmoil YOU would feel if told to abruptly leave your home, knowing everyone you left behind would be crispy critters. A selfish person would focus only on saving their own hide, while obeying God. Not everyone can steel their heart in this way, tho.
I could go all pretentious lot crit and theorize that Akhmatova could relate to Lot's Wife. Losing loved ones to the horrors after the Revolution. She could have saved herself and led a fat cat life in a Paris or London salon. But she stayed, unable to tear herself away from the home of her youth. Love, loss, divided loyalties, these are things that complicate obedience to harsh commands.