ISBN-10: 0307264246

ISBN-13: 9780307264244

Edition: 2006

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A legend in her own time both for her brilliant poetry and for her resistance to oppression, Anna Akhmatova--denounced by the Soviet regime for her "eroticism, mysticism, and political indifference"--is one of the greatest Russian poets of the twentieth century. Before the revolution, Akhmatova was a wildly popular young poet who lived a bohemian life. She was one of the leaders of a movement of poets whose ideal was "beautiful clarity"--in her deeply personal work, themes of love and mourning are conveyed with passionate intensity and economy, her voice by turns tender and fierce. A vocal critic of Stalinism, she saw her work banned for many years and was expelled from the Writers' Union--condemned as "half nun, half harlot." Despite this censorship, her reputation continued to flourish underground, and she is still among Russia's most beloved poets. Here are poems from all her major works--including the magnificent "Requiem" commemorating the victims of Stalin's terror--and some that have been newly translated for this edition.
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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/16/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 4.50" wide x 6.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Anna Akhmatova, 1889 - 1966 Poet Anna Akhmatova was born in 1889 in Bolshoy Fontan near Odessa, Ukraine and was the daughter of a naval engineer. She attended a girls' gymnasium in Tsarskoe Selo, Smolnyi Institute in St. Petersburg, Fundukleevskaia gymnasium (1906), law school (1907), and then moved to St. Petersburg to study literature. When she was 21, she became a member of the Acmeist group of poets, led by Nikolai Gumilev, who she married in 1910 and had one son with, Lev Gumilev. They were divorced in 1918 and that same year she married Vladimir Shileiko. This marriage also failed and she was later married to Nikolai Punin until his death in 1958. Her first husband was executed in 1921 for antirevolutionary activities; afterwards, she entered a period of almost complete poetic silence that lasted until 1940. Akhmatova's first collection of poetry was "Vecher" ("Evening"), which appeared in 1912. Two years later, she gained fame with "Chyotki" ("Rosary" 1914). Her next collections were "Belaya Staya" ("The White Flock" 1917), "Podorozhnik" ("Plantain" 1921) and "Anno Domini MCMXXI (1922). For a brief time during World War II in 1940, several of her poems were published in the literary monthly Zvezda. In 1942, her poem "Courage" appeared on a front page of Pravda. In 1941, following the German invasion, Akhmatova delivered an inspiring radio address to the women of Leningrad. She was evacuated to Tashkent where she read her poems to hospitalized soldiers. In an effort to gain freedom for her son who had been exiled to Siberia, Akhmatova's poems eulogizing Stalin appeared in several issues of the weekly magazine Ogonyok. "Poema Bez Geroya" (Poem Without a Hero, 1963) was begun in Leningrad in 1940 and was revised for over 20 years. It is divided into three parts and has no consistent plot or conventional hero. This poem wasn't published in the Soviet Union until 1976. "Rekviem" (Requiem, 1963) is a poem-cycle that was a literary monument to the victims of Stalin's Terror. The earliest poems were dated 1935 and the remainders were written from 1938-40. Requiem is ten short, numbered poems that deal with her personal experiences following the arrests of her husband, friends and son. The last poem reflects the grief of others who suffered loss during that time of terror. Akhmatova was awarded the Etna-Taormina Price, an international poetry prize awarded in Italy in 1964, and received an honorary doctoral degree from Oxford University in 1965. Anna Akhmatova died in 1966.

Writer and translator D. M. Thomas was born in Cornwall, England on January 27, 1935. He graduated with First Class Honours in English from New College, Oxford and became a teacher. In 1979, he became a full-time author and his best-known work is The White Hotel. His works also include memoirs, poetry and translations of Pushkin and Anna Akhmatova.

Peter Washington has edited several Pocket Poets, including Love Poems, Friendship Poems, Love Letters, and The Roman Poets.

FromEVENING `The pillow hot . . .'
Reading Hamlet Evening Room `I have written down the words . . .'
`I share my room . . .'
`Memory of sun seeps from the heart . . .'
`The door is half open . . .'
`High in the sky . . .'
Song of the Last Meeting Love `He loved three things alone . . .'
Imitation of Annensky `I came here in idleness . . .'
White Night Legend on an Unfinished Portrait
FromROSARY `I have come to take your place, sister . . .'
`It goes on without end . . .'
`We're all drunkards here . . .'
A Ride `Nobody came to meet me . . .'
`So many requests . . .'
The Voice of Memory 8 November 1913 `Blue heaven, but the high . . .'
`Do you forgive me . . .'
The Guest `I won't beg for your love . . .'
`I came to him as a guest . . .'
By the Seashore
FromWhite Flock `Empty white Christmastide . . .'
Loneliness `How can you look at the Neva . . .'
`The road is black . . .'
Flight `I don't know if you're alive or dead . . .'
`There is a frontier-line . . .'
`Freshness of words . . .'
`Under an empty dwelling's frozen roof . . .'
`The churchyard's quiet . . .'
`Neither by cart nor boat . . .'
`Lying in me . . .'
Statue in Tsarskoye Selo `O there are words . . .'
FromPlantain `Fame is like smoke . . .'
`I shouldn't be dreaming . . .'
`Now farewell, capital . . .'
`I hear the oriole's always grieving voice . . .'
`Now no-one will be listening to songs . . .'
`The cuckoo I asked . . .'
`Why is our century worse than any other? . . .'
FromAnno Domini `You're like a strange . . .'
`Everything is looted . . .'
`Oh, life without . . .'
`They wiped your slate . . .'
Bezhetsk `To earthly solace . . .'
`I'm not of those who left . . .'
`Blows the swan wind . . .'
`To fall ill as one should . . .'
`Behind the lake . . .'
Rachel Lot's Wife
FromReed Muse To an Artist
The Last Toast
`Dust smells of a sun-ray . . .'
`Some gaze into tender faces . . .'
Boris Pasternak Voronezh
Imitation from the Armenian Dante Cleopatra Willow
In Memory of Mikhail Bulgakov `When a man dies . . .'
`Not the lyre of a lover . . .'
Way of All the Earth
FromThe Seventh Book In 1940 `Some walk in a straight line . . .'
`No matter that death . . .'
Courage `And you, my friends . . .'
`That's how I am . . .'
Three Autumns `The souls of those I love . . .'
`The fifth act of the drama . . .'
`It is your lynx eyes, Asia . . .'
In Dream `Once more an autumn . . .'
The Glass Doorbell
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