Akhmatova, Anna (Vol. 126)
Anna Akhmatova 1888–1966
(Pseudonym for Anna Andreyevna Gorenko) Russian poet, translator, and essayist.
The following entry presents an overview of Akhmatova's career. For further information on her life and works, see CLC, Volumes 11, 25, and 64.
Anna Akhmatova spent a major part of her career not being able to publish her work in her own country, yet she refused to be silenced. By remaining one of the few artists who did not emigrate during the years of Stalinist oppression in Russia, and by having friends memorize her verse when committing it to paper would have been dangerous, she guaranteed herself and the Russian people a voice. As such she has become one of the most important artistic figures in twentieth-century literature.
Akhmatova was born Anna Andreyevna Gorenko in Kiev, Russia. Her father was a naval architect and moved the family to the Baltic in 1905. After her father and mother separated, the family settled in Tsarkoe Selo, just outside St. Petersburg. In 1910, Akhmatova married the poet Nikolai Gumilyov, who was at first reluctant for her to pursue poetry. When he saw her talent, however, he encouraged her, and together with poets such as Osip Mandelstam they began the Acmeist movement in Russian poetry. The movement was in opposition to the prevailing Symbolist poetry of the era. At the age of 22, she published her first volume Vecher (1912; Evening). Her middle-class father had asked her not to dishonor their family name with literary pursuits, so she published under the pseudonym Anna Akhmatova, the Tartar name of her maternal great-grandmother who had descended from Genghis Khan. She developed a cult following in the literary world of St. Petersburg with her second volume, Chetki (1914; Rosary), and she gained a brilliant reputation in russia where her poetry was widely read. In 1913 she left Gumilev and eventually married Vladimir Shileiko, an Orientalist, whom she divorced in 1921. The Revolution of October 1917 changed both Akhmatova's life and career. In 1921, her first husband Gumilyov was executed after being charged with involvement in a counter-revolutionary conspiracy. She did not emigrate like other artists, and in 1925, there was an unofficial ban on her work. During this period, Akhmatova continued to write poetry, often about the cruel acts being committed in the name of the Revolution and un-der the rule of Stalin. She memorized her verses and had friends memorize them, fearing arrest if a written copy were found. She married again at this time, to Nikolai Punin, a critic and historian, but this marriage also ended in separation. Many of her friends were arrested and died under Stalin's persecution, and she suffered another great loss in 1935 when her son, Lev Gumilyov, was arrested and subsequently spent fourteen years in prison and in exile in Siberia. The poems in her Rekviem (1964; Requiem) were inspired by her trips to visit her son in prison in Leningrad and express the sense of loss she felt by the separation. In 1939, Stalin allowed several of her poems to be published, but Akhmatova again fell out of government favor in 1946 when she was denounced by Andrey Zhadanov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Zhadanov began an ideological campaign against her work, calling it too personal to be relevant to a socialist society. She was expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers and ostracized from the Russian literary world for the next ten years. She was only readmitted to the Union after the death of Stalin. The ban on Akhmatova's work was not officially lifted until 1988, but interest in her work burgeoned anyway and by the 1960s Akhmatova was world famous. In 1964 she won the Etna-Taormina international poetry prize, and in 1965 she received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University.
A major influence on Akhmatova's work was her relationship to the Acmeists—writers who attempted to restore clarity to poetic language and who utilized the ordinary objects and events of daily life for their subject. Her poems explore her search for identity as a woman, a poet, and a Russian, as they delve into the complexities of human nature. In many of her early volumes the theme of love dominates along with attendant motifs of romantic meetings and separations, togetherness and solitude, and jealousy is often present. The poems in Evening paint a portrait of love as long periods of suffering broken up by rare moments of happiness and joy. In Rosary she deals with her feelings of guilt and loss over the breakup of her marriage with Gumilev. The poems in this collection contain many religious elements, expressing her strong belief in Christianity. With her third book, Belaya Staya (1917; The White Flock), Akhmatova turns to more civic-minded themes, including the foreshadowing of World War I in "July 1914." Requiem tells the story of a mother separated from her only son and was inspired by Akhmatova's own story and those of the thousands of other Russian women with whom she waited outside prison walls. This cycle of poems chronicles the era of Stalinism and the grief and horror suffered during these years. Poema Bez Geroya; Triptykh (1960; Poem Without a Hero; Triptych) chronicled her life before and after World War II. The poems described such personal events as love affairs and the suicide of a young cadet who was in love with Akhmatova's friend, but through these autobiographical accounts, she chronicled an epoch time period in world history. In this collection are many veiled statements and complex allusions that are much more opaque than her previous work.
Critics often discuss Akhmatova's work in its relation to the Acmeist movement. As with other Acmeists, reviewers find Akhmatova's work more straightforward than that of her Symbolist predecessors. Critics often discuss Akhmatova's literary debt to Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, including her unselfconscious impulses, use of allusions, and superb diction and rhythms. Stanley Kunitz states, "[Akhmatova's] poems exist in the purity and exactness of their diction, the authority of their tone, the subtlety of their rhythmic modulations, the integrity of their form." Reviewers praise Akhmatova's unique voice, many arguing that her verse is definitive. John Simon says, "I do see a poet with an original vision and a personal voice who manages to maintain her individual talent within the tradition." Many reviewers discuss the impact the Russian political climate had on Akhmatova's career and how it helped to infuse a civic element in her work. Many assert that she was the veritable voice of the Russian people during one of its most harrowing periods in history. More specifically, some critics claimed Akhmatova was the mouthpiece for subjugated Russian women and a true feminist leader before Feminism. Ervin C. Brody asserts, "A chronicler of the isolated and intimate psychological events of a woman's emotional and intellectual life as well as the political events in the Soviet Union, Anna Akhmatova is one of Russia's greatest poets and perhaps the greatest woman poet in the history of Western culture."
Vecher [Evening] (poetry) 1912...
Chetki [Rosary] (poetry) 1914
Belaya Staya [The White Flock] (poetry) 1917
Skrizhal: Sbornik [Ecstasy Collection] (poetry) 1918
U Samogo Morya [At the Very Edge of the Sea] (poetry) 1921
Podorozhnik [Plantain] (poetry) 1921
Anno Domini MCMXXI (poetry) 1921
Anno Domini (poetry) 1923
Stikhi [Poems] (poetry) 1940
Iz Shesti Knig [From Six Books] (poetry) 1940
Izbrannie Stikhi [Selected Poems] (poetry) 1943
Tashkentskie Stikhi [Tashkent Poems] (poetry) 1944
Koreiskaya Klassicheskaya Poeziya [Korean Classical Poetry; translator] (poetry) 1956
Stikhotvoreniya 1909–1957 [Poems 1909–1957] (poetry) 1958
Poema Bez Geroya; Triptykh [Poem without a Hero; Triptych] (poetry) 1960
Stikhotvoreniya 1909–1960 [Poems 1909–1960] (poetry) 1961
Collected Poems: 1912–1963 (poetry) 1963
Rekviem: Tsikl Stikhotvorenii [Requiem: A Cycle of Poems] (poetry) 1964
Beg Vremeni [Race of Time] (poetry) 1965
Golosa Poetov [Voices of the Poets; translator] (poetry) 1965
Lirika Drevnevo Egipta [Ancient Egyptian Lyrics; translator; with Vera Potapova] (poetry) 1965
Stikhotvoreniya 1909–1965 (poetry) 1965
Klassicheskya poeziya Vostoka [Classical Poetry of the East; translator] (poetry) 1969
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SOURCE: "On Translating Akhmatova," in his A Kind of Order, A Kind of Folly, Little, Brown and Company, 1935, pp. 39-46.
[In the following essay, Kunitz discusses the difficulty in translating Akhmatova's poetry from its original Russian.]
Pasternak was once rebuked by a pedant who came to his door bearing a long list of the poet's mistakes in translating Hamlet. The complaint was greeted with laughter and a shrug: "What difference does it make? Shakespeare and I—we're both geniuses, aren't we?" As if to justify his arrogance, Pasternak's Hamlet is today considered one of the glories of Russian literature. My Russian friend who passed the anecdote on to me was unable to recall the visiting critic's name.
The poet as translator lives with a paradox. His work must not read like a translation; conversely, it is not an exercise of the free imagination. One voice enjoins him: "Respect the text!" The other simultaneously pleads with him: "Make it new!" He resembles the citizen in Kafka's aphorism who is fettered to two chains, one attached to earth, the other to heaven. If he heads for earth, his heavenly chain throttles him; if he heads for heaven, his earthly chain pulls him back. And yet, as Kafka says, "All the possibilities are his, and he feels it; more, he actually refuses to account for the deadlock by an error in the original fettering." While academicians insist that...
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SOURCE: "Anna Akhmatova: 'Mother Courage' of Poetry," in Unesco Courier, Vol. 43, April, 1990, p. 48.
[In the following essay, Byelyakova provides an overview of Akhmatova's career.]
The life of Anna Akhmatova was a tragic one. Although she had her moments of glory she also experienced terrible humiliations.
She was born in 1889, and her youth coincided with an extraordinary literary flowering, the silver age of Russian poetry. Her first volume of verses, Vecher (Evening) was published in 1912. It was followed two years later by Chyotki (Rosary) which was reprinted eight times and made her name. The themes of most of her early poems are meetings and separations, love and solitude. Their style is rigorous, lucid, laconic.
Her poetry was read throughout Russia, and the critics predicted a brilliant future for this "Russian Sappho". She published regularly—Belaya staya (1917; The White Flock), Podorozhnik (1921; Plantain), and Anno Domini MCMXXI (1922).
Unlike many intellectuals in her circle, Akhmatova did not emigrate after the Revolution of October 1917. Yet in 1923 her work ceased to be published. The official view was that her lyrics were alien to the new generation of readers produced by the Revolution. Fame was followed by oblivion: for seventeen years her name vanished from literature.
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SOURCE: "Shards of Russian History," in Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 21, 1993, pp. 3, 9.
[In the following review, Reynolds discusses the world evoked by the essays in Akhmatova's My Half Century.]
On the morning of May 13, 1934, Anna Akhmatova and Nadezhda Mandelstam began to clean up the scattered books and papers left by the agents who had arrested Nadezhda's husband, the poet Osip Mandelstam, the night before. While some papers, including the incriminating poem about Stalin ("And every killing is a treat / for the broad-chested Ossete") had already been smuggled out by friends and visitors, one pile still lay by the door. "Don't touch it," said Akhmatova. Nadezhda, trusting the instincts of her friend, left the papers on the floor. "Ah," said the senior police agent, back for a surprise visit, "you still haven't tidied up."
This instinct for survival, what Nadezhda Mandelstam later called her "Russian powers of endurance," kept Akhmatova alive through some of the cruelest decades known to Russian writers. In 1921, her husband, the poet Nikolai Gumilyov, from whom she had been separated for three years, was arrested and executed. Her son Lev Gumilyov was arrested three times, exiled, and spent years of his life in prison for being her son. The great writers of the century, her friends, suffered and died under Stalin. The poet Marina Tsvetaeva hanged herself in 1941; Osip...
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SOURCE: "Anna of All the Russias," in New York Review of Books, Vol. 40, No. 9, May 13, 1993, pp. 25-7.
[In the following review, Bayley presents an overview of Akhmatova's life and career in his discussion of three works concerning the poet: The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer: Remembering Anna Akhmatova, by Anatoly Nayman; and In a Shattered Mirror: The Later Poetry of Anna Akhmatova, by Susan Amert.]
Poetry must somehow proclaim its authority. However mysteriously this comes about, its achievement can always be recognized; a great poem continues to assert its magisterial spell in the face of all the tyranny or indifference of passing events. When Yeats wrote in 1919, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity," he could not have known that before the end of the century, at a time when convictions of any sort were hard to come by, for both the good and the bad, his words would nonetheless have passed into the language, been stamped on the consciousness of daily speech.
How much more has this authority come to exist in the great poetry of Russia, where it stamped its conviction on the secret speech of the martyrs and the persecuted? A moving photograph in the complete edition of Anna Akhmatova's poems, between the text and the notes, shows a tiny hand-made "notebook," formed of a few...
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SOURCE: "Empress of Poets," in Times Literary Supplement, No. 4702, May 14, 1993, p. 26.
[In the following review, Franklin judges the quality of the discussion and presentation of Akhmatova's work in In a Shattered Mirror, by Susan Amert; My Half Century, edited by Ronald Meyer; and The Complete Poems, translated by Judith Hemschemeyer.]
Anna Akhmatova, empress of poets, died in 1966. She had grown up in Tsarskoe Selo, the Tsar's Village outside St Petersburg, where Pushkin had been to school. In 1911 in Paris, Modigliani drew her "in the attire of Egyptian queens". With Osip Mandelstam and her husband Nikolai Gumilev she was at the centre of the Guild of Poets professing the creed of Acmeism. Between 1912 and 1922 she published five books of poetry, "lyrical diaries" of precisely evoked fragments of experience, sharp memories of love and guilt and pain. More artists painted her and sculpted her, admirers flocked.
From 1925 she disappeared from public view. Nobody would print her. What good were her private insights and precious diction when there was Socialism to be built? During the war she was useful, but in 1946, Andrei Zhdanov, a secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, denounced Akhmatova as "one of the standard-bearers of an empty, aristocratic, drawing-room poetry, which is totally alien to Soviet Literature". Zhdanov's last phrase...
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SOURCE: "Axmatova's Civic Poem 'Stansy' and Its Pushkinian Antecedent," in Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 37, No. 2, Summer, 1993, pp. 194-210.
[In the following essay, Ketchian traces many of the devices and allusions in Akhmatova's poem "Stansy" to Pushkin.]
The purpose of this paper is to analyze Axmatova's poem "Stansy" ("Stances"), first in terms of its obvious Pushkinian predecessor and then in terms of its structure and content. A look into the genre and the distinguishing specifics for each of the two poems involved will precede the discussion of Axmatova's "Stansy." It will be followed by an examination of the poem's evolution through textual variants as it bears on the present discussion. In spite of the obviously close thematic connection between Axmatova's Requiem 1935–1940 and her cycle "Cerepki" ("Shards"), that comparison must be relegated to a future investigation.
"Stansy" (stances or stanzas) is a challenging genre, or subgenre, of poetry to define and classify. In French literature stances were usually four-line strophes with unrepeated rhymes and an obligatory pause at the end of the fourth line. The genre's slight role in English literature can be judged by the fleeting mention given to it in the English-language encyclopedias. A case in point is The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, which states in the last...
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SOURCE: A review of My Half Century: Selected Prose, in World Literature Today, Vol. 67, No. 3, Summer, 1993, pp. 628-29.
[In the following review, Lamonte discusses the ghosts that haunt the pages of Akhmatova's My Half Century.]
In his preface to My Half Century, a splendid selection of the translated prose writings of Anna Akhmatova, Ronald Meyer, the editor of the volume, explains that the author never conceived of composing a chronicle of her life and times. Although, as Meyer points out, it is futile to imagine what the completed work might have been, a model could perhaps be sought in Pasternak and Mandelstam's "autobiographical fragments," as Safe Conduct and The Noise of Time were defined by their creators. In fact, this form of autobiography is characteristic of the postmodern esthetic, and even of "high modernism." For example, all of Ionesco's published diaries assume this loose, highly suggestive structure (Notes and Counter Notes: Writings on the Theatre, Fragments of a Journal, Present Past Past Present, Un homme en question, Antidotes, La quête intermittente). We no longer look for linearity in these accounts, but rather for revealing, allusive, if not elusive traces.
Since Akhmatova did not prepare a final version for publication, Meyer provides his own concise, helpful biographical sketch, in which he includes her in "the magnificent...
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SOURCE: A review of The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, in Slavic Review, Vol. 52, No. 3, Fall, 1993, pp. 642-43.
[In the following review, Ketchian praises that The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova is an important resource for lovers of Russian poetry, but complains that further editions need better editing to correct mistakes in translation.]
Judith Hemschemeyer's handsome two-volume verse translation of Anna Akhmatova's poetry with parallel Russian texts and a substantial biographical introduction, "Masks and Mirrors" by Roberta Reeder, was a milestone in 1990 for English-speaking enthusiasts of Russian literature and for admirers of Akhmatova in particular. It drew on the texts and notes of Anna Akhmatova, Stikhotvoreniia i poemy (1976) and also A. Akhmatova, Sochineniia (Vols. 1-2. 2nd ed., 1967–1968; vol. 3, 1983). Although the first edition was labeled as complete, it is only this new expanded edition that comes closer to being complete by adding some seventy new poems, mainly from the edition, Anna Akhmatova, Sochineniia v dvukh tomakh (1990). A fair number of decisions about texts, some arguable, have been influenced by this new imprint.
By omitting the Russian texts, this volume focuses on serving the English-speaking literary community. An indispensable link to the Russian poems is the "Index to Poems by Source"; the "Index of First...
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SOURCE: "Anna Akhmatova," in New Criterion, Vol. 12, No. 9, May, 1994, pp. 29-39.
[In the following essay, Simon analyzes what Lydia Chukovskaya's The Akhmatova Journals reveal about Anna Akhmatova, and he also points out what the book is lacking, including better footnotes and better translations of the poet's work.]
"Poetry is what gets lost in translation," observed Robert Frost, and was only partly right. The thrust and sweep of epic poetry translates well enough: there is no dearth of decent translations of Homer, Virgil, Dante. Philosophical poetry also survives quite well: Eliot's Four Quartets, for example, has been successfully rendered into a number of languages. Lyric poetry is the one that has the most to lose.
There is, obviously, the problem of rhyme. Unrhymed poetry fares much better in translation: Walt Whitman reads just about as well (or poorly) in French or German. Even as delicate an unrhymed lyric as Leopardi's "L'infinito" has thrived in English. But rhyme is a killer. With elaborate rhyme schemes, tricky rhyming words, and short lines (dimeter, trimeter), the difficulty increases exponentially. Think of Byron's Don Juan, or this, from Heine: "Sie sassen und tranken am Teetisch, / Und sprachen von Liebe viel. / Die Herren, die waren ästhetisch, / Die Damen von zartem Gefühl." Verses 2 and 4, with their masculine rhymes, are no problem: "And...
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SOURCE: "The Poet in the Trenches: The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova," in Literary Review, Vol. 37, No. 4, Summer, 1994, pp. 689-704.
[In the following essay, Brody discusses the poems in The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, and Akhmatova's place in Russian literature.]
Poetry not only occupies a central position in Russian society and plays a primordial role in the life of imagination, it is also a moral force. Russian poets have always been known for their assertion of the free spirit and opposition to tyranny both under the Tsars and the commissars. "When spiritual life is suppressed," Bella Akhmadulina, a contemporary Russian poet, told The Harvard Advocate, "people turn to the poet as confessor and priest. When a nation has Russia's difficulties, people seek something lofty, something spiritual" (Quoted by F. D. Reeve in Akhmadulina). In confrontations with the authorities, they fearlessly and consistently manned the intellectual trenches in the never-ending struggle for human rights, and that is why Russia respects and loves her poets.
Few—if any—countries can lay claim to such a distinguished literary tradition as Russia during the last seventy years. In a century riddled by poisonous ideologies and repugnant visions, Russia had been beaten into the ground morally, intellectually, and politically, yet aspirations to freedom and decency were not quite...
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SOURCE: "The Smallest Museum in Russia: Akhmatova Lived Here (and Lives Here Still)," in New York Times Book Review, January 1, 1995, p. 10.
[Russell is an author and writes for art and culture for the New York Times. In the following essay, he describes the museum in St. Petersburg dedicated to Akhmatova.]
The most moving of all the museums in Russia, right now, is also the smallest and the most unlikely. Niched with no fuss whatever in what was a communal apartment high in the annex of the former Sheremetyev Palace in St. Petersburg, it is devoted to a great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova (1889–1966). A quiet and almost secret place, it has in it virtually no object of intrinsic value. Its installation is rudimentary. But it is her own room, with her belongings all around, nothing added or subtracted. The linden trees outside the window are the ones whose agitated shadows she remembered in times of trouble. How could her presence not be felt to an almost overwhelming degree?
From 1925 to 1952, it was the nearest thing to a permanent home she had. Here between 1935 and 1940 she composed Requiem, a sequence of poems from which posterity will know what it was to be in St. Petersburg during the Stalinist terror and to live in dread from day to day. And in this apartment she later wrote much of the long Poem Without a Hero, a phantasmagoric and often cryptic or coded...
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SOURCE: "If Poet's Room Could Speak, It Would Tell of Grief," in New York Times, June 28, 1995, p. A4.
[In the following essay, Specter discusses the museum dedicated to Akhmatova.]
St. Petersburg, Russia—In the diffuse, almost endless light of summer, it is hard to regard this city as a place of suffering. Few people could gaze at the noble mansions and monuments and easily summon thoughts of despair.
In many ways St. Petersburg has, since its creation, always been the spiritual center of the country, the center of science, sophistication, culture and art. But for the last century culture has usually been at war with Russia. Pushkin died here in a foolish duel and Dostoyevsky was taken from the city in chains. Osip Mandelstam, Pushkin's heir, was destroyed by Stalin.
Somehow, though, the poet Anna Akhmatova survived. She lived through the revolution and the Nazi siege, through hunger and disgrace and the murder of her closest friends. She lived through the terror of Stalin, mostly alone in a small room that is now a sad, perpetually empty museum. She lived to tell about it all by carefully committing her poems to memory and then burning the paper they were written on. ("It was like a ritual," her friend the poet Lydiya Chukovskaya wrote. "Hands, matches, an ashtray. A ritual beautiful and bitter.")
Always grand in her restraint, lucid in the agony...
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SOURCE: "The Death of the Book à la russe: The Acmeists Under Stalin," in Slavic Review, Vol. 55, No. 1, Spring, 1996, pp. 125-35.
[In the following essay, Cavanagh discusses how Akhmatova and fellow Acmeist Osip Mandel'shtam refused to be silenced by Stalinist oppression.]
In Of Grammatology (1967), Jacques Derrida apocalyptically proclaims what he calls "the death of the book," the death, that is, of the self-contained, organically unified, self-explanatory text. The postmodern age, he continues, has replaced the now defunct book with the notions of "writing" (écriture) and of a "text" that undermines or explodes any metaphorical bindings that might attempt to confine it within the safely "logocentric" limits of a single, self-sufficient volume. "The destruction of the book, as it is now underway in all domains" is a "necessary violence," Derrida claims; and the rhetorical violence with which he marks the unnatural death of the book finds its counterparts in the famous proclamations of Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes, whose respective essays "What is an Author" (1969) and "The Death of the Author" (1968) commemorate the passing of the autonomous, individual creators of the objects known in less enlightened ages as "books." "[The work] now attains the right to kill, to become the murderer of its author," Foucault announces, and his phrase—indeed, all the phrases I've cited—are...
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SOURCE: "Anna Akhmatova: The Stalin Years," in New England Review, Vol. 18, No. 1, Winter, 1997, pp. 105-20.
[In the following essay, Reeder analyzes Akhmatova's poetry from the years of Stalinist oppression.]
… But there is no power more formidable, more terrible in the world, than the poets' prophetic word.
For a long time now Anna Akhmatova has been known in her own country as one of the most gifted Russian poets of the twentieth century. Yet in the West she is still relatively unknown.
For many the only poems by Akhmatova that have been read and recited have been the love poems which she wrote as a young Russian aristocrat at the turn of the century. These poems have always attracted large numbers of enthusiasts, for Akhmatova was able to capture and convey the vast range of evolving emotions experienced in a love affair—from the first thrill of meeting, to a deepening love contending with hatred, and eventually to violent destructive passion or total indifference. But others before her had turned to these themes. What made Akhmatova so revolutionary in 1912, when her first collection, Evening, was published, was the particular manner in which she conveyed these emotions. She was writing against the background of the Symbolist movement, and her poetry marks a radical break...
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Amert, Susan. "Akhmatova's 'Song of the Motherland': Rereading the Opening Texts of Rekviem." Slavic Review 49, No. 3 (Fall 1990): 374-89.
Provides a close analysis of the first two sections of Akhmatova's Rekviem and discusses how the poet has put herself in the tradition of Dante and Pushkin.
Cook, Albert. "The Modified Modernism of Anna Akhmatova." In his Soundings: On Shakespeare, Modern Poetry, Plato, and Other Subjects, pp. 81-95. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.
Analyzes how Akhmatova's poetry differs from the modernism of her contemporaries and asserts that it owes more to the style of Pushkin.
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