Solzhenitsyn (and me) on Freedom and Equality

So many people seem blind to this. Perhaps,
deep down, they fear
that being equal they will not be free
yet still, astonishingly,
prefer (the thought of) being an item
in some sort of
ideal state of equality
to being oneself, a poet or prostitute,
painter or profiteer.

I say “the thought of” because, of course,
they wouldn’t enjoy the reality
any more than Solzhenitsyn and Mandelstam
and Anna Akhmatova and all the others,
like poor Marina Tsvetayeva, enjoyed the reality
of the equality
imposed upon them.