Anna Akhmatova Poetry: World Poets Analysis
Anna Akhmatova’s poetry can conveniently be divided into three distinct periods: 1912 to 1923, 1940 to 1946, and 1956 to 1966 (with a few poems published in 1950). The interim periods were those of enforced silence. The first silence, from 1923 to 1940, came as a result of tacit admission on her part that the changed way of life in Russia was not fully acceptable to her. The second, from 1946 to 1956, was a direct result of the authorities’ intervention. Needless to say, Akhmatova kept busy by further refining her poetry, by writing essays, and by translating.
Vecher and Chetki
Akhmatova’s development as a poet can be traced from book to book. Her first books, Vecher and Chetki, impressed readers with the freshness of a young woman’s concern about her feelings of love. In almost all the poems having love as a focal point, Akhmatova presents love from a woman’s point of view, in a form resembling a diary. It is difficult to say whether the female voice in these poems belongs to the poet herself; probably it does, but in the last analysis it is immaterial. The beloved is almost always silent, never fully revealed or described, and at times he seems to be almost secondary—only a catalyst for the woman’s feelings. She is so entranced by his mere presence that, in her anguish, she draws her “left-hand glove upon [her] right.” The poet expresses the whole spectrum of love—from the playfulness of a young...
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